Secret Files Have Exposed What Margaret Thatcher Really Thought About Nelson Mandela

Image: Georges De Keerle/Getty Images

It’s December 28, 2018. The National Archives in the United Kingdom have spent months preparing the release of secret files from Margaret Thatcher’s premiership. Now of course, that ended in late 1990, but the world was a very different place then. For instance, the Cold War between the U.S.A. and the then U.S.S.R. was ongoing. Trust was at an all-time low. And, interestingly, a man called Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela had just been released from a South African jail.

Image: Gallo Images via Getty Images/ Sunday Times

So it wasn’t hard to guess that these files could provide a unique insight into a usually incredibly guarded female leader. What’s more, this particular prime minister had been known to be pushing for Mandela’s release. And once it happened in February 1990, it was only a matter of time before the two would speak. Now, Mandela had served nearly three decades for conspiring to overthrow the South African government. Once out, he entered negotiations with president F.W. de Klerk to end apartheid in the country.

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