Theresa May Nelson Mandela

(Channel 4 / Twitter)

Theresa May gives car-crash interview after being asked about Nelson Mandela [video]

Tuesday really wasn’t a bad day for Theresa May. That’s until Channel 4 asked her about what she did to try and help free Madiba.

Theresa May Nelson Mandela

(Channel 4 / Twitter)

It was all going so well for Theresa May on Tuesday. Her measured response to the land question and eagerness to improve trade deals with South Africa looked very “Prime Ministerial” on her part.

But her performance in Cape Town took a severe knock when she was interviewed by Channel 4 about the end of apartheid. Michael Crick, a veteran journalist for the UK broadcaster, asked May about what she personally did to support Nelson Mandela while he was incarcerated.

Conservative Party and Nelson Mandela

Her tone-deaf response was to thank the work of the UK government during the 1980s. Now, if you know you’re history, you’ll be aware that then-Prime Minister Margeret Thatcher was not Madiba’s biggest fan.

She was all too happy to label him a terrorist and told her party to fall in line. The Conservatives didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory during the decade, but that didn’t stop May from putting her foot in her mouth:

“What’s important is what the United Kingdom did… I think you know full well I don’t go on protests, but the work that the UK government did and that it was able to give support where it was needed. This was support given behind the scenes, but also in other ways that helped us see the end of apartheid.”

Theresa May on Robben Island

As part of her whistlestop tour across Africa, May visited Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island. She’s also set to visit Kenya and Nigeria this week, in a bid to organise more post-Brexit trade deals.

Watch the awkward Theresa May interview with Channel 4 here

Crick goes after her like a pitbull with a bone to pick. He asked the British leader if she had ever gone on protest marches or boycotted any South African goods.

Frustrated with getting the same answer again, the journalist asked her if she felt guilty about visiting Robben Island when she “personally did nothing” to ensure Mandela’s release. Ouch.

You can watch the two-minute cringefest here: