The freeing of Nelson Mandela on February 11th 1990 was one of those ‘Where were you then?’ moments that occur globally from time to time. What happened next to the South African democratic system was revolutionary and led to Mandela being elected President in 1994. Well, the Invictus screen writer, John Carlin, is turning the clock back to that tumultuous of times to focus on that first post-apartheid election and the struggles that took place behind the scenes in a new graphic novel, Mandela and The General. With art from Oriol Malet, it’s out November 4th, but we’ve got a preview of this politically-charged, but human-hearted book from Plough Press.
As the first post-apartheid elections approached with South African blacks poised to take power, the nation’s whites feared reprisal. White nationalist militias claiming 50,000 well-armed former soldiers stood ready to fight to the death to defend their cause. As tensions throughout the country mounted, Mandela began to meet and strategize with the unlikest of political allies—General Constand Viljoen, former chief of apartheid South Africa’s military. The two leaders met in secret, in the hopes of keeping their followers and radical fringe elements from acts of violence. Despite the misgivings of their advisers, the two men put aside their differences for the good of the country.