Joe Biden says he was arrested in South Africa while visiting Mandela

Joe Biden says he was arrested in South Africa while visiting Mandela
There is no evidence that Mr. Biden mentioned the incident ever before. Source: AFP
2 Min Read

Daily US times, Nevada: Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed he was arrested in South Africa while trying to visit Nelson Mandela in the 1970s. He mentioned the incidents several time in the ongoing presidential campaign in February.

There is no evidence that Mr. Biden mentioned the incident ever before.

According to the New York Times, Biden has told the story at two events in Nevada and one in South Carolina. But the newspaper said that after a deep dive into Biden’s memoir, past speaking events, and interviews, they found that he had never spoken about the arrest until the 2020 presidential race.

On February 11 at a South Carolina event, the former VP said “This day, 30 years ago, Nelson Mandela walked out of prison and entered into discussions about apartheid. I had the great honor of meeting him. I had the great honor of being arrested with our U.N. ambassador on the streets of Soweto trying to get to see him on [Robben] Island.”

Biden mentioned the 1970s South Africa trip in his 2007 memoir, but there was no mention of the arrest, according to the New York Times.

Huffington Post reported that Biden spoke about a 1977 visit to the South African Embassy in Washington in 2013 but did not reverence being arrested. Biden said at the time that he met with anti-apartheid leaders, though Mandela was still in prison and they did not have a chance to meet.

A US ambassador to the United Nations from 1977 to 1979 Andrew Young, who is now 87-year-old told The New York Times that he traveled to South Africa with Biden but did not recall an arrest.

“No, I was never arrested and I don’t think he was, either,” the former civil rights activist and Georgia congressman said. “Now, people were being arrested in Washington. I don’t think there was ever a situation where congressmen were arrested in South Africa.”

He said he respects Joe Biden, but for the 2020 presidential race, he is supporting Michael Bloomberg.