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Mandela: The Authorised Biography (ISBN 0-00-638845-0) is a study of former South African President Nelson Mandela, by the late Britishmarker journalist Anthony Sampson.

Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, revealed little of certain major episodes in Mandela's life. Sampson's book was one of the first to examine such issues as Winnie Mandela's crimes, and State President Frederik Willem de Klerk's suspected attempts to use the security forces to derail peace talks.

De Klerk and the 'Third Force'

Winnie Mandela and her "football team" were punished, but Sampson's allegations against de Klerk have never been proven or widely discussed. Sampson accused de Klerk of exacerbating the violence in several ways. De Klerk was reportedly ignoring the violence of the Zulu-nationalist Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) when directed against the non-racial ANC (and vice versa), in the hope of splitting anti-Apartheid forces. De Klerk also permitted Inkatha supporters to carry "traditional weapons" in their rallies, with which they caused much injury. Sampson cited an occasion where the ANC tipped off the government that IFP was planning a violent protest: the police did nothing, and thirty people were killed.

Nelson Mandela had himself made these criticisms in Long Walk to Freedom, but Sampson also broached new topics. De Klerk was accused of permitting members of his government, among them his Ministers of Police and Defence, to sponsor both Inkatha and private Afrikaner armies which terrorised opposition movements, the so-called 'third force'. In 1991 de Klerk demoted those ministers, Adriaan Vlok and Magnus Malan respectively, and began an inquiry which Sampson described as a whitewash conducted by interested parties. De Klerk rejected the accusation, and said that he had been not unwilling but unable to restrain the third force. In a 2004 interview, de Klerk said that his security forces had been undermining him by conducting "undercover activities [...] in conflict with the policies which we were trying to advance". He said that the ANC had also contained extremist and provocative elements.

James Gregory and Goodbye Bafana

Sampson's biography also alleged that one of Mandela's Robben Islandmarker warders, a Warrant Officer called James Gregory, pretended to have been Mandela's friend in order to make money. According to Sampson, the close relationship depicted in Gregory's book, Goodbye Bafana, was a fabrication, and in reality Gregory rarely spoke to Mandela. Gregory censored the letters sent to the future president and thus discovered the details of Mandela's personal life, which he sold in Goodbye Bafana. Mandela considered suing Gregory, but refrained from doing so when the Prison Department distanced itself from Gregory's book. Sampson also said that other warders, specifically Christo Brand, had told him in interviews that they suspected Gregory of spying for the government. Mandela later invited Gregory to his inauguration as President, apparently having forgiven him as he had the former president Pieter Botha, and the prosecutor Dr. Percy Yutar who had tried to get him executed in the Rivonia Trial.

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