No political leader in living memory has been so genuinely loved across the spectrum or touched so many people's lives.

Ken Keable, who is Secretary of the Communist Party's District Committee for South West England & Cornwall, posted this message on Facebook on the evening of Mandela's death. In 1967, through his membership of the Young Communist League in London, Ken was recruited to go on secret missions to South Africa to help the African National Congress and the South African Communist Party in their epic liberation struggle.

"My daughter Christabel phoned about half an hour ago to tell me the news that the great Nelson Mandela had died. Watching the BBC News Channel, which is devoting all its time to the subject, I see the British establishment giving us hypocrisy by the bucketful.

"The apartheid system was a crime against humanity and the British state was up to its neck in that crime. Britain’s diplomatic service did all it could, at the UN and elsewhere, to protect the apartheid regime from international sanctions. The City of London financiers invested in apartheid South Africa and profited from it. All the major British companies had their subsidiaries in South Africa, which practiced racism and supported the racist regime. Britain imported vast amounts of South African products, made cheap by the artificially cheap labour of the South African people.

"Hence, the whole British economy was subsidised, over many years, by the cheap labour of the oppressed South African people. It was the British parliament that passed the South Africa Act 1909 which set up a whites-only parliament in South Africa. The apartheid laws, introduced from 1948 onwards, could not have been passed without such a parliament.

"Nelson Mandela’s life throws down a challenge to us all, to ask, "Am I doing as much as I can to fight for a more just society and a more just world?"

"As one who went on two secret missions to apartheid South Africa in my youth, to help the liberation struggle as one of the ANC’s London Recruits, and who boycotted South African products for over 30 years, I salute him."

To learn more about the fascinating story of the secret war against apartheid and the part played in that war by Britain's Young Communist League, read the book compiled and edited by Ken

The Morning Star has proven to be the only media outlet in Britain not to indulge the Tories in their rewriting of history. This weekend's paper (7th-8th December) carries articles from Peter Hain, Alan Simpson, an obituary by John Haylett, an inspiring editorial and a critique of Cameron's "crocodile tears" by Peter Frost.