Is Biden LYING About His Nelson Mandela Visit?

( – Former Vice President Joe Biden has a habit of telling stories that aren’t strictly true. Whether he’s misremembering or flat-out lying, people don’t take too kindly to being lied to. Obviously.

The latest in a string of gaffes from the Democratic presidential candidate comes in the form of a story he’s told about a time in the 1970s when he claims to have been arrested by the South African police. The New York Times reported that Biden claimed he was arrested while planning to meet Nelson Mandela in prison.

According to the report, Biden has told the same story three times in recent weeks, but the facts don’t seem to add up.

Speaking to an audience in South Carolina, Biden explained, “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 Robbens Island.”


At the time of the arrest, Biden would have been a Delaware Senator. Had he been arrested by South African authorities, it would have presumably been covered by the American press. However, the New York Times says they have been unable to find any references to his arrest in media archives from the time.


Combined with the fact that Biden didn’t mention the arrest in a memoir released in 2007, in the run-up to his success in the 2008 presidential elections, the whole story seems a little off. To say the least. If it’s such a great tale to tell on the campaign trail now, why did Biden choose to omit it when campaigning more than ten years ago?

The real icing on the cake for this one is the fact that the ambassador Biden claims to have been with when he was arrested says he wasn’t detained or arrested by South African authorities at all.

So is it a lie?

The ambassador, Andrew Young, told the New York Times that he believed it was highly unlike for an American senator to be arrested in South Africa, and denied his own arrest.

“No, I was never arrested and I don’t think he was either. Now, people were being arrested in Washington. I don’t think there was ever a situation where congressmen were arrested in South Africa.”

Why does Biden keep on telling lies?