Joe Biden finally admits he WASN’T arrested trying to visit Nelson Mandela: Campaign says he was only separated from a congressional delegation meeting the ANC leader


  • Biden had made the extraordinary claim three times this month in South Carolina
  • Says he was arrested in Soweto in 1989 while trying to visit Nelson Mandela
  • Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island, 900 miles away from Soweto
  • No news reports or other records can be found of such an arrest of the senator
  • UN ambassador who Biden says was arrested with him denies it ever happened 
  • Now Biden’s campaign says he was in fact separated from a congressional delegation 

Joe Biden’s campaign came clean Tuesday on a much-scrutinized claim he has made that he was arrested while trying to see Nelson Mandela, and admitted it was not the case.

Biden, 77, first told the story at a campaign event in Columbia, South Carolina on February 11, as he tried to shake off defeat in New Hampshire, and has repeated it twice more during outreach to black voters.

‘This day, 30 years ago, Nelson Mandela walked out of prison and entered into discussions about apartheid,’ Biden said in Columbia of the former South African president, who was imprisoned for 27 years by the apartheid government.

‘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 went on.

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