This could have been the scene of an assassination.

Inauguration of Nelson Mandela in 1994 at the Union Buildings, Pretoria.

Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

In Book One of The Mandela Trilogy (which I’m hoping to have published before the end of 2017) the opening chapter reveals a plot by the CCB, a covert creation of  South African Military Intelligence, to assassinate Nelson Mandela shortly before his release from prison. This plot is code-named MAMUD, an acronym for Mandela Must Die.

This is, of course, fiction, the creation of the author’s imagination. So you can imagine my surprise when the news broke three weeks ago alleging that a plot had indeed been hatched to assassinate the great man at his inauguration in 1994,

four years after his release from prison. Furthermore, as in my fictional account, this foiled plan emanated from within the ranks of government!

This ongoing court case is sketchy on details, but here are the basics:

  • Major-General Andre Lincoln, a former ANC underground operative, obtained information “that someone, a sharpshooter, would shoot President Mandela at his inauguration…. The firearm to be used was in a certain office of the Organised Crime unit.”
  • A handcrafted rifle was found under the desk of a senior police officer in Pretoria, however, Lincoln said, he had to turn to the High Court in Pretoria to obtain a search and seizure warrant. Top police officers quashed the probe.
  • Lincoln said that the plot to assassinate Madiba was “totally covered up” and that the investigation continued to be blocked by the police at all levels. The intended crime was never properly investigated.
  • Lincoln further alleges that the head of Organised Crime, Neels Venter, and the minister of Foreign Affairs, Pallo Jordan, were on the payroll of a notorious mafia kingpin, Vito Palazollo. Venter and his officers were involved in a covert operation, ‘Project Donna’, involving the printing of counterfeit money. Some of the officers working in Donna were linked to the Mandela assassination plot.
  • Lincoln headed a Presidential Investigation Task Unit set up by Mandela in 1996. Its work too was sabotaged and hampered at every turn by the police.

The trial continues and I shall be watching with interest.

I must admit to a little smugness as I read the breaking story. When I got to the part that detailed the modus operandi of the of the assassination plan I got goosebumps: the similarities to Book Two of my trilogy were eerie!

As any writer of fiction knows, the muse is real.

Author and Muse

The most original plot and character ideas come from a place outside of the author’s own conscious imagination. This is the primary reward of writing fiction and is the reason writers continue writing despite the long delays in being published. Being a part of a creative process is inspirational, and being inspired is one of life’s rarest pleasures.