PunditFact fact-checks Bill O'Reilly on Nelson Mandela

On his Fox News show, Bill O'Reilly said that Nelson Mandela was a communist. We checked to see if O'Reilly was right.
On his Fox News show, Bill O'Reilly said that Nelson Mandela was a communist. We checked to see if O'Reilly was right.

Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly caught the attention of our partners at PunditFact when discussing the death of Nelson Mandela.

O’Reilly said, "Nelson Mandela -- I spent some time in South Africa. He was a communist, this man. He was a communist. All right? But he was a great man. What he did for his people was stunning -- the sacrifices that he made. He could have repudiated and got out of that prison. He wouldn't do it. He was a great man. But he was a communist."

PunditFact checked with seven scholars of Mandela and 20th century South African history, and most agreed that Mandela was -- at least for a while -- a member of the Communist Party. However, they added that the label obscures a lot of complexity about Mandela's thoughts and beliefs. PunditFact rated O'Reilly's statement Mostly True; read the full fact-check to find out the rest of the story.