Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Nelson Mandela/archive1

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The following is an archived discussion of a featured article nomination. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the article's talk page or in Wikipedia talk:Featured article candidates. No further edits should be made to this page.

The article was promoted by Laser brain via FACBot (talk) 15:04, 10 February 2017 [1].


Nelson Mandela

Nominator(s): Midnightblueowl (talk) 00:11, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

This article is about one of the most significant political figures of the second half of the 20th century, a man who needs no introduction. This is classed as one of our Vital Articles, and is a page that I have been working on for several years now. User:Khazar2 (since retired, sadly) and I brought this up to GA quality shortly before Mandela's death in 2013; since then I have consulted more sources, kept the article up-to-date, and obtained a peer review for it in June 2016. I now feel that it is ready for FAC. Midnightblueowl (talk) 00:11, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

This appears to be at Peer Review at the same time as FAC. This isn't a good look, I suggest asking for a close of the PR. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 08:09, 20 November 2016 (UTC)

  • Oh dear - that PR was launched in June I believe, and had effectively terminated by August. I was under the impression that it had been archived, but apparently it hasn't. I shall ensure that it is closed asap. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Peacemaker67. Midnightblueowl (talk) 12:27, 20 November 2016 (UTC)

Comments from Sarastro1

Quick comment: I've just skimmed the lead and the first section and this looks impressive from a quick glance. One thing I wasn't sure about: we mainly use "Mandela" but occasionally use "Nelson" for no reason that I can see. Unless there is a good case for "Nelson", perhaps switch them all to "Mandela"? Sarastro1 (talk) 22:41, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for taking a look, Sarastro1. At present, the article uses "Nelson" in place of "Mandela" in two locations: four times in "Childhood: 1918–34" and once in "Presidency of South Africa: 1994–99". In both of these instances, the text discussed Nelson Mandela alongside other family members, and thus the use of the family name "Mandela" could cause some confusion. Using "Nelson" in these circumstances circumvents this problem. Midnightblueowl (talk) 20:15, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

Comments: This is looking really, really good. I've got as far down as "Clarkebury, Healdtown, and Fort Hare". Just a few little issues, for this is a hugely important article and I think it is worth polishing up as much as we can. Sarastro1 (talk) 13:03, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

  • "After the Afrikaner minority government of the National Party established apartheid—a system of racial segregation that privileged whites—he and the ANC committed themselves to its overthrow.": A little unclear (although perhaps a moot point!) whether they planned the overthrow of the minority government, the National Party, or apartheid.
    • All three, basically! If you feel that there is a way that this wording could be improved then I'm certainly very open to suggestions, although feel that we need to be careful not to excessively lengthen the prose here. Perhaps "to the apartheid government's overthrow"? Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:42, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
      • I think "apartheid government's overthrow" would work well here. Sarastro1 (talk) 21:49, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
  • I might also be a little cautious in using "minority government"; for example, in the UK a minority government is a government that does not have an absolute majority in the House of Commons. We link to "dominant minority", which wouldn't work in this sentence, but I would prefer a little rephrasing.
    • Perhaps we could replace the term "minority government" with "whites-only" or something of that nature? Do you think that that would be an improvement? Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:42, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
    • I think so, yes, and keep the same link? Sarastro1 (talk) 21:49, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Very minor point: "rising to prominence for his involvement in the 1952 anti-apartheid Defiance Campaign and the 1955 Congress of the People": I wonder could we rephrase "rising to prominence in the early 1950s and stop there. It's quite a heavy sentence, and perhaps the individual events are a little too much for the lead? But not a big deal, and ignore this one if you want.
    • I see your point but I would personally prefer to leave them in, particularly given that these were significant events in the history of the anti-apartheid movement, the Congress of the People in particular. Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:42, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
  • "He was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and was one of the activists unsuccessfully prosecuted in the 1956 Treason Trial": Could we avoid "activities... activists"? I wonder could we simply have "and was unsuccessfully prosecuted in the 1956 Treason Trial".
    • I would be happy with that change, and will implement it. Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:42, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
  • One little point about the lead, which may be worth thinking about. A lot of the sentences have a very similar grammatical structure, and are quite long. The overall effect of this is a little repetitious and makes it a little harder for the reader. Perhaps breaking some of these sentences up would help. (This only seems to be an issue in the lead)
  • "a so-called "Left-Hand House"": Unless I'm missing something, not too clear what this means.
    • It's a difficult situation to reconcile. Traditional Southern African systems of family lineage appear radically different to those most Westerners are accustomed to. For obvious reasons we don't want this article to start going into depth into these systems, but at the same time the links to cadet branch and morganatic marriage have been put there to try and make things clearer. It would be best if we actually had an article on family structures in southern Africa to link to here but I am not aware of any such article. Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:42, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
      • What about a note which summarises it briefly? In any case, I think we need a little more here as "Left-Hand House" is going to be meaningless to most readers. Sarastro1 (talk) 21:49, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "Later stating that his early life was dominated by traditional Thembu custom and taboo,[13] Mandela grew up with two sisters in his mother's kraal in the village of Qunu, where he tended herds as a cattle-boy, spending much time outside with other boys.": A few little issues here. The first clause seems to bear little relation to the second clause; it's quite a hard read to see "later stating that his early life" and I had to read a few times to get the meaning of the whole sentence. Presumably this means that he said, when he was older, what his childhood was like. Why not give this its own sentence? And it's not too clear what Thembu custom and taboo might be. I would also suggest that "spending much time outside with other boys" is a little redundant: show me a boy who doesn't do this! Even if we keep it, "much time" is a slightly uncomfortable phrase and I think the longer "a lot of time" works better.
    • I've divided this sentence into two, which I feel deals with many of the concerns here. Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:42, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
  • "of the visiting Chief Joyi": Presumably this was someone important. If there is no article to link to, can we give a few words to say why this is a big deal? Sarastro1 (talk) 13:03, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
    • We have no article to link to, and I'm not sure how important Joyi himself was; what was significant was the fact that his rhetoric influenced Mandela. I'll change this wording to a "of a visiting chief, Joyi". Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:42, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Next batch: Sorry for the slow pace. Real life has been a little insane this last week! I'm down to the end of "Defiance Campaign" and this is very well written. A few more nit-picks, but feel free to argue as a few of them may just be personal preference. Sarastro1 (talk) 21:49, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Many thanks Sarastro1. There is no rush at my end and I appreciate that you are taking the time to contribute to this FAC with such helpful suggestions. Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:37, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "and ANC activist Walter Sisulu. Sisulu secured him a job": Could we avoid repeating Sisulu across sentences?
  • "Sisulu secured him a job as an articled clerk at the law firm of Witkin, Sidelsky and Eidelman, a company run by a liberal Jew, Lazar Sidelsky, who was sympathetic to the ANC's cause": A bit of comma overload going on here which make it a little tricky to read. In an ideal world, I think I'd prefer the simpler "The latter [avoiding the repetition?] secured him a job as an articled clerk at a law firm run by a liberal Jew, Lazar Sidelsky, who was sympathetic to the ANC's cause", but I can see why you would want the full name. Perhaps "Sisulu secured him a job as an articled clerk at the law firm of Witkin, Sidelsky and Eidelman—a company run by a liberal Jew, Lazar Sidelsky, who was sympathetic to the ANC's cause" or even "Sisulu secured him a job as an articled clerk at the law firm of Witkin, Sidelsky and Eidelman, a company run by Lazar Sidelsky, a liberal Jew sympathetic to the ANC's cause". Both of these cut the comma numbers.
    • Good idea. I've implemented the latter suggestion. Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:56, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "At the firm, Mandela befriended Gaur Radebe, a Xhosa member of the ANC and Communist Party, as well as Nat Bregman, a Jewish communist who became his first white friend.": I think "as well as" might be replaced by "and" for simplicity. That gives some repetition of "and", but I don't think that's a big problem. (You could always replace the commas with dashes. I love a dash here and there!) Feel free to ignore this one.
    • I like dashes too! I'll stick some in here. Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:56, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "Mandela attended communist talks and parties, where he was impressed that Europeans, Africans, Indians, and Coloureds were mixing as equals": I wonder (sorry, I'm doing a lot of wondering in this section) would this be better as "Mandela attended Communist Party talks and gatherings" as "communist talks" sound like something that a 1950s panel would accuse someone of! I also think "mixed" would be preferable to "were mixing" here.
    • That sounds like an improvement. Changed. Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:56, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "Although embarrassed by his poverty, he briefly courted a Swazi woman before unsuccessfully courting his landlord's daughter": courted...courting
    • I've replaced the first instance with "dated". Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:56, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "On his return to Thembuland, the regent died in winter 1942; Mandela and Justice arrived a day late for the funeral.": On first reading, this is a little confusing as the last mention of a regent is the Queen Regent of Basutoland, and at first I thought this was who we were talking about. I think we could make this clearer; I'm possibly being a bit thick, but other readers may make the same mistake.
    • I think that you make a fair point. I've made some changed to the sentence in the article. Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:56, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "Although facing racism from some, he befriended liberal and communist European, Jewish, and Indian students": I think "some" hangs a bit here. I think "some students" would be better, but I'm not too sure how to reword the rest of the sentence, or even just omit "from some" altogether as I'm sure it was more than just students who were racist.
  • "Thenceforth, Mandela rejected Lembede's Africanist beliefs and embraced the idea of a multi-racial front against apartheid": I'm never a fan of "thenceforth" and prefer something simpler like "subsequently"; to me, it reads better.
    • Personally I prefer "thenceforth" over "subsequently". Maybe we can get a third opinion on this one? Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:43, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "his mistrust of communism broke down and he began reading literature by Marxists like Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Mao Zedong, eventually embracing the Marxist philosophy of dialectical materialism": Having two "marxist" and one "Marx" in the sentence is a little repetitive. If it is not stretching the sources (I'm not sure how many other Marxists he was reading), what about " his mistrust of communism broke down and he began reading literature by [among others?] Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Mao Zedong, eventually embracing the Marxist philosophy of dialectical materialism".
  • "Although Africanists opposed his candidacy, Mandela was elected regional president in October.": Why? And in this sense, I'm not too sure what Africanists are.
    • In this context, "Africanists" are those African nationalists who believed in a racialized black approach to African nationalism, and were completely opposed to any alliance with whites, Asians, and Coloureds who also opposed apartheid. "Drive the Boer into the sea" kind of stuff. It was introduced in the "Law studies and the ANC Youth League" sub-section. Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:40, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "Claims have emerged that he was having affairs with ANC member Lillian Ngoyi and secretary Ruth Mompati": "Claims have emerged" sounds a little tabloidy. Better to say straight out who made the claims and when.
    • I've cut "claims have emerged" and replaced it with "He may have had affairs with ANC member". Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:34, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Watch out for overuse of "much": We have a few "much time"s and a "much respect". Sarastro1 (talk) 21:49, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

More: A bit of a flying visit, but hope to return to some more tonight. I'm at the start of the "Imprisonment" section now, and the quality of this article remains very high. (Incidentally, if you missed them, there are two unanswered points at the end of my last set of comments). Sarastro1 (talk) 19:57, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

  • "In April 1959, Africanists dissatisfied with the ANC's united front approach founded the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC); Mandela disagreed with the group's racially exclusionary views, describing them as "immature" and "naïve".": Not entirely clear here with which group he disagreed.
    • Good idea. I will change the prose here. Midnightblueowl (talk) 20:32, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "Disguised as a chauffeur, Mandela travelled the country incognito, organising the ANC's new cell structure and the planned mass stay-at-home strike.": As this is the start of a new section, it might be worth dating this. Also, given that this is obviously in South Africa, could "the country" be cut?
    • I used "the country" because it reflects that Mandela travelled all around the country, to various different areas, rather than just travelling from A to B. It might be best if I change this to "Mandela travelled around the country incognito". Midnightblueowl (talk) 20:32, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "it later became widely recognised that MK was the party's armed wing": Better as "MK was later widely recognised as the party's armed wing"? Not sure, but not a big deal either way.
    • A good suggestion, I have made the change. Midnightblueowl (talk) 20:32, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
  • In the section on MK, we largely give Mandela's account of the aims of the "sabotage". Are there any other views? Has anyone (academically) looked at the aims, etc, of the group? For balance, it might be good to have other views (but I don't mean the apartheid government's version) which are a little less involved.
    • As far as I am aware from the academic literature and biographical accounts of Mandela's life, there is no real argument that Mandela's claims as to MK's original aims were inaccurate. Mandela himself said that the MK was designed to carry out sabotage, but that if that proved ineffective then more violent attacks and guerrilla warfare would probably be necessary. That he came out and admitted this suggests (at least to me) that he was not necessarily hiding anything. Midnightblueowl (talk) 20:42, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
  • We mention Mandela travelling, but we never really say how well-known he was throughout other parts of the world at this stage in his life. He was obviously VERY well known after his imprisonment, but I wonder is there anything to say about his reception outside SA at this point? Sarastro1 (talk) 19:57, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
    • It's not something that I can recall being mentioned in the Mandela biographies, hence its absence here, although if further reliable sources mention this then I agree that it might make for a good addition. Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:17, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

And more: Sorry for the delay (again!) but up to the endow the "End of Apartheid" section now. I did some very light copy-editing, but feel free to revert anything I messed up or that you don't like. Sarastro1 (talk) 11:07, 10 December 2016 (UTC)

  • "Various rumours have circulated suggesting that the authorities were tipped off with regard to Mandela's whereabouts": This is a bit vague; where have the rumours come from? From when do they date? Perhaps something along the lines "Rumours [where? when?] suggested that [who?] informed the authorities of Mandela's whereabouts" (if we can't really say who here, we could keep it as ""the authorities were informed/tipped off about Mandela's whereabouts")
    • The biographical sources that we have available do not go into huge detail on these issues although I have consulted them to see if a rewording is appropriate. As a result, I have changed "Various rumours have circulated" to "Many MK members suspected that the".
  • We give the CIA as a possible source of the tip off, but no-one else; could we briefly expand here? This is quite wide open otherwise.
    • It is the source that is given greatest attention in the biographies, presumably because it has the greatest amount of supporting evidence. I've made a few prose alterations to make this clearer. Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:03, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "Moved to Pretoria, where Winnie could visit him, in his cell he began correspondence studies": Redundant?
  • "Initially classified as the lowest grade of prisoner": Could we clarify what this means? Lowest threat? Lowest importance? Lowest status?
    • From what I can gather, it means that he had the least privileges. I have amended the text to better reflect that. Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:32, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
  • I think we need to reduce the use of "visited" in the 3rd paragraph of Robben Island.
    • A good point, although there aren't many synonyms available for us to use. I've replaced two of the examples, however. Midnightblueowl (talk) 20:24, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "As leaders of the two major parties, de Klerk and Mandela appeared on a televised debate; although de Klerk was widely considered the better speaker at the event, Mandela's offer to shake his hand surprised him, leading some commentators to consider it a victory for Mandela": considered ... consider Sarastro1 (talk) 11:07, 10 December 2016 (UTC)
    • I've changed the latter example to "deem". Midnightblueowl (talk) 20:13, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

LeaningSupport: Sorry for the horrendous delay. Real life is a little manic right now. I'm almost ready to support but just have a few final points. This is impressive and remarkably balanced. Sarastro1 (talk) 00:36, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

  • "The event was attended by 4,000 guests": Any reason why we don't spell out the number here? It particularly clashes with the "billion" of the previous sentence.
  • "world leaders from disparate backgrounds": I think I know what we mean here, but it sounds a little vague. Could we spell it out a little more?
    • I've changed this to "a wide range of geographic and ideological backgrounds". Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:33, 24 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "allowing him to organise policy details": Are policy details organised? Created or shaped, maybe? But I don't think organise quite works.
  • "Mandela was known to change his clothes several times a day and after assuming the presidency he became so associated with Batik shirts that they came to be known as "Madiba shirts".": While this is worth including, I'm not sure it fits at the end of its current paragraph.
    • I've removed this sentence and used its citations to bolster a description of Mandela's clothing in the "Personality and personal life" section. Midnightblueowl (talk) 19:42, 24 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "Replacing Mbeki as Deputy President, Mandela and the Executive supported the candidacy of Jacob Zuma...": The dangling participle here makes it seem like Mandela was replacing Mbeki as Deputy.
    • I've changed this sentence to the following: "Mandela and the Executive supported Jacob Zuma, a Zulu who had been imprisoned on Robben Island, as Mbeki's replacement for Deputy President." Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:42, 24 December 2016 (UTC)
  • At the start of the Illness and Death section, we could stand to lose a few "hospitalised" and "rehospitalised". These words are used 4 times in 3 sentences.
    • I've replaced the two uses of "rehospitalised" with "readmitted". Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:42, 24 December 2016 (UTC)
  • I wonder if some of the personal life detail could be cut as it repeats quite a lot of information that we have already given. Sarastro1 (talk) 00:36, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
    • I've cut some of the material on his wives and children, as that duplicates information elsewhere in the article. Midnightblueowl (talk) 19:54, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

Note: I've now switched to full support (and obviously recused from coordinator duties). Sarastro1 (talk) 00:49, 25 December 2016 (UTC)

  • Thank you very much for taking the time to read through this article and for offering your comments and then your support, Sarastro1. It is appreciated. Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:47, 25 December 2016 (UTC)

Image review

Image review

  • File:Nelson_Mandela_Signature.svg: since South Africa is a common-law country, commons:COM:SIG suggests that signatures receive copyright protection
    • Fair point. I have removed this image altogether. Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:08, 19 November 2016 (UTC)
  • File:Mandela_burn_pass_1960.jpg: if this became PD in South Africa in 2010, then the URAA tag would not apply
    • I've removed this image and replaced it with File:ApartheidSignEnglishAfrikaans.jpg. Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:41, 19 November 2016 (UTC)
  • File:9_2_018_0235-TuynHuys-The_Cape-s.jpg should include a tag for the status of the building itself. Same with File:Bharat_Ratna.jpg. Nikkimaria (talk) 20:18, 19 November 2016 (UTC)
    • There appears to be some mistake regarding File:Bharat_Ratna.jpg, as this image is not actually included in the article. Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:08, 19 November 2016 (UTC)
      • It's in one of the navboxes. Nikkimaria (talk) 23:36, 19 November 2016 (UTC)
        • Ah, gotcha. I'd missed that. I've removed the navbox in question altogether. Midnightblueowl (talk) 12:35, 20 November 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments, Nikkimaria. I'll make my way through these. Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:08, 19 November 2016 (UTC)

  • I've added a description of what the image is of to the File:9_2_018_0235-TuynHuys-The_Cape-s.jpg image. Beyond that I am a little unclear as to what you mean by a tag? Midnightblueowl (talk) 12:51, 20 November 2016 (UTC)
    • The image currently has a CC tag to reflect the copyright of the photographer - we need to have another licensing tag to reflect the copyright of the architect/designer. Nikkimaria (talk) 17:45, 20 November 2016 (UTC)
      • I was unable to locate a tag that would do the trick here so have removed the image altogether. Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:49, 25 December 2016 (UTC)

Comments from Dank

Comments from Dank. As always, feel free to revert my copyediting. - Dank (push to talk)

  • Looking good so far. Back in the morning. - Dank (push to talk) 04:08, 21 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Support on prose per my standard disclaimer. These are my edits. For better or worse, this is probably the longest article I've copyedited at FAC. It's a fine article. - Dank (push to talk) 17:49, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

Comments by Dudley

  • The first half of the second paragraph of the lead needs some dates.
    • I've added the year that Mandela joined the ANC and the year that he co-founded its Youth League. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:51, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "Continuing his interest in sport, Mandela took up ballroom dancing,[32] performed in a drama society play about Abraham Lincoln,[33] and gave Bible classes in the local community as part of the Student Christian Association." This is a non-sequitur, implying that all these activities are sports.
    • Good point. I've changed the sentence to eradicate the problem. Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:24, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "he was temporarily suspended from the university; he left without receiving a degree." Why did he leave - in protest at his suspension? Gave up in despair?
    • I've changed this to "he never returned to complete his degree". Hopefully the sentence is now a little clearer. Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:30, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "as the compound was visited by various chiefs, he once met the Queen Regent of Basutoland." Why is this significant?
    • Granted, this isn't of great importance, but it has been mentioned in the Mandela biographies and for that reason I put it in here. If you strongly disagree about its relevance then it can be removed, however. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:59, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "including old friend Oliver Tambo." I would say his old friend.
  • " Mandela and his cadres" What does 'cadre' mean here? None of the dictionary definitions seem to fit.
    • I did a quick Google search and the second definition which they provided was "a group of activists in a communist or other revolutionary organization". That fits nicely, no? Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:56, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
  • I am still doubtful. Mandela was hardly a revolutionary at that point, and "his cadres" implies that he was a revolutionary commander. How about "his allies"? Dudley Miles (talk) 10:45, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
  • I think that "allies" might be too broad. Perhaps we should look for a second opinion; Vanamonde, perhaps? Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:47, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
  • IMO "cadre" is appropriate, but "his cadre" is perhaps odd. "party cadre allied with him" is probably the most precise. Simply "Allies" does not get at the sense of what is being said. Vanamonde (talk) 03:48, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
  • I do not see what is wrong with "his party allies" but how about "his party cadre allies"? Dudley Miles (talk) 16:20, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "He advised Sisulu to request weaponry from the People's Republic of China, which was denied; though the Chinese government supported the anti-apartheid struggle, they believed the movement insufficiently prepared for guerilla warfare." I suggest "He advised Sisulu to request weaponry from the People's Republic of China, which was denied. Although the Chinese government supported the anti-apartheid struggle, they believed the movement insufficiently prepared for guerilla warfare."
  • "police cracked down on the event, but it remained a key part of Mandela's ideology" "cracked down" is vague. Closed it down? Arrested the delegates?
  • "and continued until adjourning in September" sounds a bit odd. Maybe "and continued until the case was adjourned in September"
  • "Africanists dissatisfied with the ANC's united front approach founded the Pan-Africanist Congress" Did they leave the ANC?
    • I'm not entirely sure, but I would have presumed so. This information would be important on the Pan-Africanist Congress article but I am not sure that it would be so relevant on the Mandela article. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:44, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
  • "claiming that there was insufficient evidence" "claiming" seems POV. Maybe "on the ground"
    • I've gone with "ruling" over "claiming", which fits with the legal environment being discussed. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:53, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
  • More to follow. Dudley Miles (talk) 23:31, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Further comments
  • "but completed only two months before being recalled to South Africa" Presumably recalled by the ANC leadership but this should be spelled out.
  • "who feared Mandela's associations with communism" Communism is an abstraction, and it sounds odd to speak of associations with an abstraction.
  • How about "association with communists" Dudley Miles (talk) 10:45, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Yes, that should work well. I'll amend the prose accordingly. Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:49, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "December until February 1964" Eh?
    • I've changed this to "December 1963 until February 1964". Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:16, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "until he resumed his LLB degree studies in 1980" You have not said that they had stopped.
    • In the previous sentence it states "That year, he began his autobiography, which was smuggled to London, but remained unpublished at the time; prison authorities discovered several pages, and his study privileges were revoked for four years." Do you think that this latter wording needs to be made clearer? Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:55, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
  • I would say "his LLB study privileges". Dudley Miles (talk) 10:45, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "Violence across the country escalated" You should specify when.
    • I've changed this to "The early 1980s witnessed an escalation of violence across the country, and many predicted civil war." Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:41, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "with the ANC committing 231 attacks in 1986 and 235 in 1987." This is vague. What sort of attacks?
    • Sampson (p. 355), which is the source mentioning the number of attacks, only refers to them as "attacks" without giving any further information. I would assume that they were sabotage attacks on state and government infrastructure given the ANC's attempts to avoid civilian casualties, but I couldn't swear to that at this juncture. Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:46, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "Mandela admitted the party's faults" What faults?
    • The sources don't seem to quote him at length here; it seems from the context in which they discuss the issue that he was referring to the disorganised nature of the ANC although this is not crystal clear. This being the case, I've only changed the prose to "admitted that the party had faults". Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:10, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "Winnie found guilty of kidnapping and assault and sentence to 2 years, but above you have said that she was head of an organisation which murdered and tortured opponents. The article on Winnie said that she was found guilty of torture and murder by the truth and reconciliation commission, but obviously not in the 1991 trial. This needs clarifying.
    • I'm not really sure how to go about this without the article going off on a bit of a tangent about the Truth and Reconciliation Committee in the "Pollsmoor Prison: 1982–88" section, which is something that I would really prefer to avoid. Generally I feel that interested readers can go to the Winnie Mandela article if they are interested in learning more about her and her activities, and that we do not need to go into too much detail here in the Nelson Mandela article. Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:36, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "Although criticised by socialist ANC members, he was encouraged to embrace private enterprise by members of the Chinese and Vietnamese Communist parties at the January 1992 World Economic Forum in Switzerland." This is a bit confusing as you have been discussing 1993 - it would be better to say he had been encouraged.
  • "Mandela met with Afrikaner politicians and generals, including P. W. Botha, Pik Botha and Constand Viljoen, persuading many to work within the democratic system" This is unclear. Who does many refer to? People formerly supporters of violent revolution?
    • It refers to many Afrikaner politicians and generals. I will make an amendment to the article prose to clarify this. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:47, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
  • A sentence on the reasons for the hostility between the ANC and Inkatha would be helpful.
    • The source at this juncture does not really make clear the reasons for the violent clashes and for that reason I would hesitate in adding anything new into the article. However, it would seem to be a combination of general rivalry between two competing factions, a broad ideological difference (ANC wanted a united multi-racial South Africa; Inkatha wanted an independent Zulu nation), different approaches to the apartheid government (ANC was totally against, whereas Inkatha were willing to work with them and their Banustan system) and the ethnic dimension (with Inkatha being fiercely Zulu and the ANC dominated by Xhosa). Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:09, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
  • More to follow. Dudley Miles (talk) 16:00, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "Mandela as South Africa's first black chief executive" Elsewhere you say president.
    • Both are true. The issue here is that the position of President only became the chief executive position (replacing the Prime Minister) under P. W. Botha, so most chief executives in South African history have been Prime Ministers, not Presidents. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:04, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
  • I think you need to explain this as it is confusing otherwise. It would be suitable for a footnote, but as you do not ahve any I would add it to the main text. Dudley Miles (talk) 10:45, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure quite how to go about this, particularly as I lack a reference to say that this is the case. Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:57, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
  • I would say "first black president". Chief executive is usually a different position, so it is confusing to introduce different terminology at that point. Dudley Miles (talk) 16:20, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
  • The prose now says "first black head of state", which I think works well here. Midnightblueowl (talk) 12:41, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
  • "scaremongering around crime" I would say about crime.
  • "the Springboks, as South Africa hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup" You seem to imply here that Mandela only supported the Springboks because South Africa were hosts.
    • I've made some amendments to this wording, and I hope that it deals with the issue. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:46, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "enabled people who had lost their property as a result of the Natives Land Act, 1913 to claim back their land" I am doubtful about this. The source does not look like an RS, and it would be surprising if there was no important later legislation, particularly after the introduction of Apartheid in 1948. The next sentence refers to the rights of tenants, which is a different issue.
    • I've removed this sentence. We don't have other RS that support it, so I'm comfortable with it being removed. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:46, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "Recognising that arms manufacturing was a key industry in South Africa," This sounds POV.
    • I'm not really sure what you mean here; could you possibly clarify? The arms industry was one of SA's key industries, employing large numbers of people and bringing in substantial revenue. Mandela recognised that bringing an end to the industry would bring widespread unemployment and decreasing revenues. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:46, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
  • How about "for the South African economy". Dudley Miles (talk) 10:45, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "although this was scuppered by the 1997 Asian financial crisis." I think "scuppered" is a bit too colloquial.
    • I'm considering "hindered" but I am not sure if that really does the trick. Have you any suggestions? Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:21, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
  • I'm not convinced that "defeated" has quite the right connotations. "Prevented"? Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:52, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "President Suharto, whose regime was responsible for mass human rights abuses" Perhaps euphemistic for a genocide estimated to have killed a million meople.
    • That may be true, but I'm not sure the RS here use the words "genocide". Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:05, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "although he later reconciled his relationship with Blair" "reconciled" does not sound right to me in this context. Is it American usage?
    • How about "he later established a more amiable relationship with Blair"? Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:21, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "a Christian humanist, who relied more upon Ubuntu than Christian theology." I am not sure what this means.
    • I've reworded this sentence thusly: "On analysing Mandela's writings, the theologian Dion Forster described him as a Christian humanist, although added that his thought relied to a greater extent on the Southern African concept of Ubuntu than on Christian theology." Does that make things clearer? Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:04, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
  • More to follow. Dudley Miles (talk) 19:32, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "while his popularity had resulted in a cult of personality building up around him" I would say has resulted.
    • I get your reasoning here, but I'm a little worried about using the present tense when the cult may well die out. As a compromise between the two positions I've changed this to simply read "popularity resulted". Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:08, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "Concerns were raised that the personal respect and authority he accrued were in contrast to the ideals of democracy that he promoted,[440] and that he placed his own status and celebrity above the transformation of his country." This is vague. Who raised the concerns, how did respect for him constrast with ideals of democracy, and how did he (according to his critics) place his status above transformation?
    • I agree that there is a vagueness here, but in large part that is because the source material is algo vague on this point. According to Rita Barnard: "There is also a sense in which his chiefly bearing and mode of conduct, the very respect and authority he accrued in representing his nation in his own person, went against the spirit of democracy and, while he constantly insisted that he was a servant of the people and a loyal member of the ANC, his popularity nevertheless generated something of a cult of personality." Do you think that any more can be adopted from this quote for use in this article? Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:15, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
  • I think it would be better to use the quote instead of your own words. Dudley Miles (talk) 10:45, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "Castro, Gaddafi, and Suharto—deemed dictators by critics" Does anyone deny that they were dictators?
    • I don't know much about Suharto, but in the course of bringing both the Fidel Castro and Muammar Gaddafi articles to GA status I've found that their supporters definitely reject the "dictator" label. Constitutionally, Castro held less power within Cuba's political system than the President does in the United States, while from the late 1970s onward Gaddafi's role in Libya's state apparatus was largely ceremonial and his official responsibilities were restricted primarily to the military. Of course, there are strong arguments that both figures wielded considerable unofficial influence that gave them near dictatorial power, but certainly the "dictator" label is not as clear cut in these cases as may be easily imagined. We must be careful not to push particular political/ideological viewpoints in Wikipedia's voice. Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:08, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
      • FWIW I agree with MBO here. I'm not particularly well-read about any but Castro, but even I know that the label is not one agreed upon. IMO the expression "dictator" is applied most frequently to Suharto among the three listed here, but I may be wrong. Vanamonde (talk) 09:02, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
  • I suggest "Mandela was also criticised for his friendship with controversial political leaders such as Castro, Gaddafi, and Suharto, and his refusal to condemn their governments' human rights violations." But it is not a major issue. Dudley Miles (talk) 10:45, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
  • My concern about that is that most political leaders are controversial; Mandela himself was highly controversial for many years. For this reason, I am more comfortable with the present wording as it specifies more clearly the reason why critics were concerned about Mandela's friendship with these individuals. Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:37, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
  • I would merge the last two paragraphs of the 'Orders, decorations, and monuments' section.
  • "Mandela has also been depicted in cinema on multiple occasions." This sounds ungrammatical to me. "in films"?
  • Refs 39, 260 and 308 are showing harv errors. Dudley Miles (talk) 12:38, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

I think that I have responded to every concern, Dudley. There are a few points on which you may well want to counter-respond. Many thanks for taking the time to read through the article for such care! Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:15, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

Many thanks Dudley Miles; I think that this FAC might be wrapping up soon so were there any further issues that you wished to raise? Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:24, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

The one point I have been waiting on is a reply on cadres. I am still not happy with the implication that Mandela was the leader of a clique of revolutionaries at that point in his career. Dudley Miles (talk) 16:43, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Oops - missed that one. I've changed it to the suggested wording. Thanks, Dudley. 19:03, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. A first rate article. Dudley Miles (talk) 20:18, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Comments from Vanamonde

  • This is a phenomenally important article, thanks for bringing it here! I realize I'm a little late to the party, so I will try to be quick. At first glance this is impressive work.
    • Thank you for the thank you! Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:12, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
      • Apologies, been kept off of Wikipedia by RL.
      • Okay, I'm very close to supporting this: just address the couple of points that remain. Regards, Vanamonde (talk) 09:50, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
      • Happy to support this solid piece of work.
Prose
  • Perhaps "forename", as an unfamiliar term, should have a parenthetical explanation?
  • "member of the amaMpemvu clan of Xhosa." Should it be "the Xhosa"?
    • I was under the impression that both would be okay, but I'll add the "the" anyway. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:49, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "a Xhosa member of the ANC and Communist Party" should it not be the Communist Party?
    • I think that the current wording works okay, but maybe we could get a third opinion? Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:50, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "while Evelyn embraced the Jehovah's Witnesses and rejected Mandela's preoccupation with politics." I'm a little confused about this. She rejected his preoccupation: what does that mean?
    • She did not share Mandela's preoccupation with politics; do you think there is a better way of wording this? Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:33, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
      • Well, I guess it's not too important, but it seems to describe their relationship in terms more appropriate to an organized debate...Did she reduce her involvement in Mandela's politics? If so, I'd suggest saying so: otherwise, leave it.
  • "He advised Sisulu to request weaponry from the People's Republic of China, which was denied" Slight oddity here; I would suggest "On his advice, Sisulu requested..."
  • "police closed down the event, but its tenets remained a key part of Mandela's ideology." I'd suggest breaking this up into two sentences: they are two not-very-related concepts, after all.
    • I definitely agree on this one. The two sentences have now been divided, and the latter fleshed out with an additional Mandela quote. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:51, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "he began courting and politicising a social worker" The term "politicizing" is used and abused so many different ways, that I think a different way of saying this might be better, even if wordier.
    • I've gone ahead and removed "and politicising". I thought about various ways of changing this but I felt that they were all detrimental to the sentence itself. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:44, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "Mandela gained ideas from Marxist literature on guerilla warfare by Mao and Che Guevara" I think some folks might take issue with that...are you sure the sources describe the literature as Marxist? Quite certain that the writings referred to are simply "literature on guerilla warfare".
    • I haven't re-checked every source but I agree that describing the literature itself as Marxist may not be the best way to phrase this. The sources emphasis the influence of Marxist revolutionary ideas on him at this juncture, so I will change the prose to "literature on guerrilla warfare by Marxist militants Mao and Che Guevara". Does that work for you? Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:38, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
      • Ideologues may quibble but this is certainly better.
  • "but it was abandoned after the conspiracy was infiltrated by an agent" It would be great to have information on how the infiltration was discovered, but if it is unavailable, I understand.
    • I'm concerned about excessively lengthening the wording here with information that I feel may be a little tangential. If others think it is really necessary then I am happy to delve into the situation, but at present I'm not really convinced. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:44, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
      • Okay.
  • "herself up as head of a criminal gang" I can understand why you use the word "criminal", but I would avoid it. Stricly speaking, a criminal is somebody who has comitted a crime: and that was true for essentially the entire movement against apartheid at some point. "violent" might be better. Or "militant".
    • I've removed the word "criminal". I think that "militant" might be misleading as it suggests a greater level of in-depth politicisation than I think the Mandela United Football Club actually had. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:56, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
  • ""Mandela United Football Club", who had been " Shouldnt it be which had been?
    • Indeed it should. I've amended the prose. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:49, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "In 1989, Botha suffered a stroke, retaining the state presidency" I'd separate the sentence into two: right now, it sounds like "retaining the state presidency" was a medical condition brought on by the stroke.
    • I've amended this to "In 1989, Botha suffered a stroke; although he would retain". Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:31, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Can "COSAG" be linked?
    • I'm happy to link it, but it would become a redlink. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:56, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
      • I believe, as do others, that redlinks are quite critical in drawing attention to subjects which do not have articles: especially in cases such as this, wherein the absence of said articles is related to WP:CSB.
  • There is some inconsistancy with the use of "US" and "U.S." Since you don't use the period for other abbreviations, I would suggest standardizing to the former.
  • "But finding such seclusion difficult" I still belong to the school of thought in which beginning a sentence with "But" is odd. Not compulsory.
    • I share your view on "But"; this must have been added in by another editor. I've removed the "But", and I think that the sentence works fine without it. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:52, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
  • I'm rather surprised that the US' official designation of Mandela as a terrorist (as opposed to just Reagan's opinion) is not in the article.
    • I'm unsure if the official designation applied specifically to Mandela or whether it was a blanket designation on the ANC and its members/leadership. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:31, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
      • I do believe it was Mandela himself, in addition to the ANC: see for instance [2], [3], [4].
        • Many thanks for the links. I've used the NBC News piece to add a sentence on this into the article. Midnightblueowl (talk) 17:19, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
  • I'd avoid the use of the Mike Ketchum source: it's primary, and not needed, as there is another (I think).
  • I'm uncertain about the reliability of "mamba online".
    • I think you're right. This isn't one of my additions to the article, but if there are no objections then I'll scrap it. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:44, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
  • The "History of the ANC" link in the lead is a bit of an easter egg at the moment: I would prefer it if you included "served as President" within the piped link, or left it out altogether.
  • " Robben Island where Mandela and other prisoners were subjected to hard labour" in the caption strikes me as not very grammatical; isn't hard labor something you do, rather than something done to you?
    • I've altered this to "were forced to carry out hard labour". Midnightblueowl (talk) 17:07, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
  • "and his daughters first visited in December 1975." If I am not wrong, his daughters visited him regularly after reaching a certain age and being permitted to do so: is this worth mentioning?
    • I had a quick look at the Sampson biography, particularly at the pages cited here. I can't find any passages explicitly referring the daughters visiting regularly; it mentions Maki visiting when she turned 16 in 1970 (p. 255) but I cannot see it mentioning repeat visits. Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:16, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
      • Ah well maybe I concocted this bit of trivia from the biopic.
Other
  • Wondering if the pressure from within South Africa for his release is worth a mention in the lede
    • We already have "growing fear of a racial civil war", which to some extent deals with this issue (I think). I don't want to start lengthening the lede any more, but do you think this wording could be improved at all? Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:12, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
      • "Amid a strengthening internal movement against apartheid and growing international pressure, and with fears of a racial civil war..." This is admittedly longer, but from what I know of the literature, it was not simply fear, which frequently has no basis in reality, and it does not acknowledge the generally non-violent nature of the resistance. I'm not going to oppose over this, though.
        • I've gone with "growing domestic and international pressure". I think that that captures the necessary additional meaning while not making the sentence and paragraph excessively lengthy. Would you agree? Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:28, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
          • Not 100% convinced, but okay.
  • There are at the moment three harv errors in the article. If you don't have the script which highlights such, I'd suggest installing it: it's very useful
    • I've had little luck in finding these, or the necessary script. Could I have a pointer? Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:42, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
  • This is a more substantive point: there are several sources I have read which have argued that songs written in honour of Mandela in the 1970s and 1980s, such as Free Nelson Mandela, and Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela), played a major role in increasing name recognition for him: as such, I would imagine the phenomenon at least warrants a mention.
    • Do you have any references that I could look at? If there are RS dealing with this issue then it may well be pertinent. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:12, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
      • There's some sources here, apologies for the disorganization of that page. I also took another look at some of the sources, and I realise that many of them mention the music in conjunction with other factors. Still think the music is worth a mention.
        • Thanks. I've used The Guardian article to create a sentence on this subject in the "Biographies and popular media" section. Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:05, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

Comments from indopug

  • This article is so thorough and well researched that my main complaint is that it goes too far in this aspect at times. What I mean by this is that at times, very trivial claims are extremely over-referenced. For example, take this sentence: He took up ballroom dancing,[1] performed in a drama society play about Abraham Lincoln,[2] and gave Bible classes in the local community as part of the Student Christian Association.[3] Do we really need four refs for each of these? Since many of these are identical, why list them thrice? Another example is the sentence fragment "Mandela's second wife was the social worker Winnie Madikizela-Mandela" which is followed by six references.
  1. ^ Mandela 1994, pp. 67–69; Smith 2010, p. 34; Meredith 2010, p. 18; Sampson 2011, p. 25.
  2. ^ Mandela 1994, p. 68; Lodge 2006, p. 10; Smith 2010, p. 35; Meredith 2010, p. 18; Sampson 2011, p. 25.
  3. ^ Mandela 1994, p. 68; Lodge 2006, p. 10; Meredith 2010, p. 18; Forster 2014, p. 93.
  • Are you sure the post-nominals in the infobox, "OMP RE OM AC CC OJ GCStJ QC GCIH BR", are accurate? Because I know that the Bharat Ratna has been deemed to not be a title, and thus cannot be used that way.—indopug (talk) 16:16, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
    • I'm not convinced by these either. Given that we lack supporting references for them, I'll go ahead and scrap them. Midnightblueowl (talk) 16:40, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

Coord note

Just a reminder that -- unless I messed it -- we'll need a source review at some stage. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 04:27, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

  • References formatted consistently. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:00, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Earwigs has a false positive from a mirror site, as well as a couple with speeches. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:00, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • FN 441, used once. material faithful to source. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:03, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • FN 263, used once. material faithful to source. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:05, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • FN 280, used once. material faithful to source. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:12, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • FN 470, used once. material faithful to source. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:13, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Spot check ok Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:13, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Tks Cas, do you (or any of our reviewers above) feel comfortable signing off on the reliability of all the sources employed? Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 11:39, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, there is a self-published source but it only cites a speech. Others look RS. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 12:33, 10 February 2017 (UTC)


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