Mister Spock wrote:
Nelson Mandela was the head of UmKhonto we Sizwe, (MK), the terrorist wing of the ANC and South African Communist Party. At his trial, he had pleaded guilty to 156 acts of public violence including mobilising terrorist bombing campaigns, which planted bombs in public places, including the Johannesburg railway station. Many innocent people, including women and children, were killed by Nelson Mandela’s MK terrorists.
- Church Street West, Pretoria, on the 20 May 1983
- Amanzimtoti Shopping complex KZN, 23 December 1985
- Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court, 17 March 1988
- Durban Pick ‘n Pay shopping complex, 1 September 1986
- Pretoria Sterland movie complex 16 April 1988
- Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, 20 May 1987
- Roodepoort Standard Bank 3 June, 1988
That's pretty amazing that he orchestrated all that from the various isolated prison cells which he was in from 1962-1990. Is he directly responsible for what the organization did when he was no longer its operational leader (and indeed, he only was for one year)?
He founded the MK in 1961 and was arrested shortly thereafter in 1962, and during his very brief tenure their attacks were limited to sabotage of government buildings and infrastructure, mostly at night, and with deliberate efforts made to avoid civilian casualties, which is the precise opposite of the goals of terrorism, which seeks to capitalize on civilian casualties in order to spread... wait for it... terror among a populace.
Meanwhile, this is a very small sample of the kind of totally not terrorism type stuff the apartheid government was doing before, during, and after that time:
He was absolutely an advocate for violent resistance against oppression, but so was Malcolm X during the civil rights movement, the Founding Fathers in the American Revolution, and the French Resistance in WWII to name a few.
Regardless of his earlier violent tactics and what the militant arm of the ANC that he founded went on to do after he was imprisoned, he brought legal equality to the black majority of South Africa while preaching forgiveness and coexistence with the white minority who dominated the country during his incarceration and once he was freed from prison. And any guerrilla, sabotage, or "terrorist" tactics he used during his brief stint as head of the MK before being arrested were desperate, last resort acts that they were forced to use to address the massive military and logistical power imbalance in South Africa, and pale in scope and intent to the massacres and terrorist acts ordered by the South African government and perpetrated by their military and police forces.
The man deserves respect for his actions in promoting equality in South Africa, the rest of Africa, and indeed the rest of the world.