Mandela's grandson blames Israel for Russian invasion of Ukraine

Mandela did not mention the specific fact that Russia had invaded Ukraine at any point in his speech.

Members of the Palestinian Authority Majed Al-Fetyani and Jibril Rajoub pose with Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela Saturday at the ANC National Conference in Johannesburg (photo credit: COURTESY ZAID NORDIEN)
Members of the Palestinian Authority Majed Al-Fetyani and Jibril Rajoub pose with Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela Saturday at the ANC National Conference in Johannesburg
(photo credit: COURTESY ZAID NORDIEN)

Nkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, a grandson of Nelson Mandela's and a member of South Africa's National Assembly, blamed "neo-Nazis," Israel and NATO for the Russian invasion of Ukraine during a conference held by the Pan African Palestinian Solidarity Network in Dakar, Senegal on Saturday.

"The global military-industrial complex that beat the drums of war in Ukraine feeds an agenda of which they are the sole beneficiaries," said Mandela.

"Behind them lies the ruins of Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. They are joined in this disgraceful endeavor by neo-Nazis in Ukraine, the Apartheid Israel dogs of war and those in NATO intent on advancing cold war politics."

Mandela also claimed that the world was acting with "profound hypocrisy, [the] myopia of the worst sort and blatant racism" amid the crisis in Ukraine.

"The pervasive panic of COVID-19 has disappeared from the media headlines, along with the wars in Syria, Yemen and the occupation of Palestine," said Mandela at the conference. "The warmongers have forgotten about the suffering of millions in Africa, endemic poverty, inequality and the cruel legacy of scars left on our continent by centuries of colonialism and the ongoing plunder of our resources, especially by our former colonial masters and new ones like Apartheid Israel."

 Rescuers work next to a residential building damaged by shelling, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine, in this handout picture released March 14, 2022. (credit: Press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS) Rescuers work next to a residential building damaged by shelling, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine, in this handout picture released March 14, 2022. (credit: Press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via REUTERS)

The South African MP stated that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has been "orchestrated" over the past eight years. He did not mention the specific fact that Russia had invaded Ukraine at any point in his speech.

Mandela additionally expressed outrage at Israel being granted observer status in the African Union, saying "We must reflect deeply on what has transpired on our continent and how the Apartheid Israel regime and its Zionist lobbying machine has crept insipidly into the African psyche and wormed itself into our structures overtly and covertly."

Mandela is the chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council and a staunch supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. He converted to Islam in later 2015, according to the BBC. In 2017, he visited Israel, but only held meetings with Palestinian leaders. During the visit he stated that "Israel is the worst apartheid regime."