The arrest of Nelson Mandela in 1962, which led to his 28-year
incarceration, came after a tip from the United States Central
Intelligence Agency, according to an American diplomat who was in South
Africa at the time.... The claim is based on an interview with Donald Rickard, an American
diplomat —now dead— who was serving as Washington’s vice-consul in
Durban at the time of Mandela’s arrest. Some believe that Rickard was
actually a CIA officer posing as a diplomat until his retirement from
the service in 1978, and he himself never denied it.
The story of Rickard involvement was first reported in 2000 by William Blum in his
book "Rogue State"