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The South African Communist Party has said that Nelson Mandela was in fact a member of its central committee at the time of his arrest in 1962. Although it has been the subject of much debate among historians and academics, Mandela himself always denied being a member of the communist party. At his trial he dismissed the allegations saying they were a smear by the apartheid government to discredit him. Dr Essop Pahad is a member of the SACP and the African National Congress. He was a member of the Communist Party's negotiating team in the Assembly that wrote the new South African Constitution and later served as a Minister in Thabo Mbeki's Presidency. Newshour's Owen Bennet Jones asked him why he thinks the party has made that statement.