Joe Biden Admits He Wasn’t “Arrested” In South Africa After Exaggerated Claims

Joe Biden is walking back an exaggerated campaign talking point, after being questioned on his claims of being ‘arrested’ in apartheid-era South Africa trying to visit Nelson Mandela in prison.

Biden all but admitted his claims of being arrested were false in an interview on CNN Friday.

He’s claimed that he was “arrested” in several South Carolina campaign speeches trying to visit the South African political leader.

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 UN ambassador on the streets of Soweto trying to get to see him on (Robben) Island,” Biden claimed at a Columbia campaign event earlier this month. He’s repeated the claims two times since then.

Biden admitted to CNN’s Joe Berman that he was merely stopped by customs police at the airport for a short period of time when arriving in the country with the Congressional Black Caucus for a visit in the 1970’s.

His claims of being arrested during a direct attempt to visit Mandela are equally dubious, considering he was merely stopped in the city of Soweto. Soweto is hundreds of miles away from Cape Town’s Robben Island, where Mandela was imprisoned for decades by the apartheid-era government.

For what it’s worth, the western political leaders such as Joe Biden who were acutely interested in South Africa during the Apartheid era of political repression have largely forgotten about the country and its declining standard of living since then.