1918-Still alive in 2005
First South African black presidentby Rit Nosotro First Published:: 2003
"I have fought against white domination and I have fought against
black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free
society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.
It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be,
it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
Nelson Mandela was born in 1918 to a tribal chief leader in Transkei, a province in South Africa. Mandela later became a lawyer in 1944 and joined the African National Congress (ANC) were he won the first national prominence as a black leader through protest. In the same year he was also the first black man to open up his own private law practice in South Africa.
In 1956 Mandela was charged with treason and many other serious crimes, but he was acquitted of them five years later. After being found not guilty he started up protests on the subject of black people’s rights, at the same time he went into hiding but was later caught in 1962. For 27 years, six months and six days Nelson Mandela was a prisoner and a symbol of apartheid's oppression.
During his detention in a South African prison many people made him there symbol of injustice against the black race in South Africa. Many groups would not even talk to the government about peace until Mandela release.
On a sunny South African afternoon Mandela was release; his release was even broadcasted live on state controlled television into millions of South African homes. Right from his car he went to a rally were over seven hundred and fifty thousand people showed to support him, most of these people have never even seen his before. Nine days before his release the South African government mad e the ANC a legal political organization.
Some people said it was irreversible effect of a new South Africa. The world community was excited to see the release of Mandela. They had put section on South Africa because of there racial views on blacks. South Africa was the only country in the world that had anti racial conducts in there laws.
Since leaving prison Mandela has had many accomplishments. Mandela talked
with the president of South Africa many time about black people’s
rights in South Africa. Even in 1990 Mandela stopped an armed revolt of
the ANC against the government. He wanted the black majority to be equal
with the white minority. In 1991 Mandela got his wish, all the legal biases
of apartheid were lifted, but Mandela still fought the racial injustices
in South Africa community. Also in 1991 Mandela went to the UN to ask
for all the sanctions to be lifted from South Africa. The UN voted in
a majority that all sections should be lifted.
Winnie was Mandela’s wife she was charged with kidnapping and being accessory to assault in 1992, her jail sentence was lifted and reduced to fines, but Mandela separated from her in the years to follow.
In December of 1993 Mandela was awarded the noble peace prize for his work in helping regain South Africa as a peaceful nation. On April 27, 1994 South Africa held there first democratic elections. Mandela became the president of South Africa winning 255 out of 400 in the national assembly.
Mandela gave up his spot as president of the ANC in 1997 to Mr Mbeki. In 1999 Mr Mbeki won a landslide victory to bring South Africa into a new age.
After his retirement in 1999 Mandela kept pushing for equal right for blacks all around the world. Mandela had set up numerous organisations to fights AIDS. He received many awards for his work, some of the include the Order of St. John from Queen Elizabeth II, Presidential Medal of Freedom from George W. Bush, and the Bharat Ratna award, to name a few.
In June 2004 at the age of 85 Mandela said he was retiring from public life because his heath was deteriorating and wanted to spend time with his family. On January 6, 2005 Mandela’s eldest son died of AIDS. Mandela continues to promoted peace, anti-racism and AIDS funds.
World Book Encyclopaedia
1 Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for ____ years?
2 Nelson Mandela president of what group?
3 Nelson Mandela received the noble peace prize in?
4 After leaving jail Nelson Mandela went to a rally were _____ people