General Tadesse Birru – The man who taught Mandela to be a soldier (BBC)

By Penny Dale – BBC Africa, Addis Ababa – In July 1962, Col Fekadu Wakene taught South African political activist Nelson Mandela the tricks of guerrilla warfare – including how to plant explosives before slipping quietly away into the night.

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General Tadesse Birru gave a pistol to Nelson Mandela as he returned to South Africa

Mr Mandela was in Ethiopia, learning how to be the commander-in-chief of Umkhonto we Sizwe – the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC).

The group had announced its arrival at the end of 1961 by blowing-up electricity pylons in various places in South Africa.

Then on 11 January 1962, Mr Mandela had secretly, and illegally, slipped out of South Africa.

His mission was to meet as many African political leaders as possible and garner assistance for the ANC, including money and training for its military wing.

And to be moulded into a soldier himself.

During this trip, he visited Ethiopia twice and left a deep impression on those who met him during his stay in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

 

Read full story from the BBC.

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Posted by on December 12, 2013. Filed under FEATURED. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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