Mrs Thatcher and Africa – By Richard Dowden | African Arguments
Mrs Thatcher played a pivotal role in the ending of Apartheid in spite of herself. She once declared the African National Congress to be a “typical terrorist organisation… Anyone who thinks it is going to run the government in South Africa is living in cloud-cuckoo land”.
But she gave these “terrorists” diplomatic protection. In the mid 1980s the South African government blew up the ANC offices in London and tried to kidnap its members in London including Thabo Mbeki and Oliver Tambo. She was obliged to provide armed bodyguards for their most senior officials.
A close aide once told me that she opposed Apartheid more on the grounds that it was a sin against economic liberalism rather than a crime against humanity. She also was bitterly against sanctions of any sort – they were a crime against free trade. She even went on denouncing them after Britain and the rest of the Commonwealth had imposed a ban on sporting contacts and other marginal sanctions. She boasted that she alone had managed to fight off demands for stronger sanctions...