Biography of Nelson Mandela | Who was.

Nelson Mandela
(1918/07/18 - 2013/12/05)

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

South African politician

After climbing a mountain very high, we discovered that there are many other mountains to climb.
Nelson Mandela

He was born on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, Cape.

At age five he was shepherding sheep and calves. He was one of 15 children of Henry Mgadla Mandela, Chief of the Supreme Chief of Thembuland, who, on the death of his father, became guardian of Mandela. At the end of primary education at a local missionary school, he studied at the University College of Fort Hare to obtain his Bachelor of Arts degree and where it comes into contact with politics and knows Oliver Tambo. Both took part in a student strike in 1940 which meant his expulsion from the Center. Then he meets Walter Sisulu, who provided him with a job in a law firm.

In 1944, along with Sisulu, Tambo and Anton Lembede, founded the youth branch of the African National Congress (ANC). He became the National Secretary of this organization in 1948 and although in principle he was opposed to collaborate with other racial groups, changed his mind in 1952 during the course of the so-calledCampaign of challenge. Therefore it supported the joint action against the Government's policy of apartheid. At that time, was national President of the youth branch of the ANC, and with Tambo, had founded the first law firm run by blacks in South Africa. In December 1952, he was arrested by virtue of the Suppression of Communism Act (Act of repression of communism). Though his nine-month sentence was suspended, was forbidden to attend rallies or leave the District of Johannesburg. This prohibition would be renewed repeatedly over the next nine years. Despite this disqualification, he continued to work with the leaders of the ANC. In December of 1956 was, along with 156 others, tried for treason. The trial lasted until 1961 and ended with the acquittal of all charges. After the killing of Sharpeville, where 69 black citizens were murdered by the South African security forces during a demonstration against the apartheid, banned the ANC and the Pan-African Congress (PAC). In March 1961, in order to prevent his arrest and a new disqualification, Mandela went underground and, together with Sisulu, secretly toured the country to organize a three-day strike. In June 1961, the leaders of the ANC decided to start the armed struggle and created the Umkhonto we Size ('the Spear of the nation'), armed wing of the ANC, with Mandela as leader. In January 1962, he left South Africa and attended the Pan-African Conference in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia); later he traveled to Algeria, where he received training to fight guerrilla, and finally to London, city in which met with the leaders of the opposition in exile. He returned to his country in July of that year and he was arrested on August 5, accused of rebellion and illegal abandonment of the country, so it was sentenced to five years in prison. While he was in prison, the police registered headquarters of the ANC in Rivonia. Most of the leading members of this organization were arrested; also seized various documents, among which was the newspaper written by Mandela during his trip abroad.

Él y otros activistas fueron juzgados, en lo que se conoce como el juicio de la traición de Rivonia. Duró desde octubre de 1963 hasta junio de 1964, y llevó a cabo su propia defensa y la de los otros acusados. Fue condenado a cadena perpetua. Durante más de 25 años fue el preso político más famoso del mundo. Pasó dieciocho años en la prisión de Robben Island, antes de ser trasladado a la de Pollsmoor (Ciudad de El Cabo) en 1982, fecha en la que se inició una campaña internacional en favor de su liberación. Durante los años que permaneció en la prisión de Robben Island, fue obligado a realizar trabajos forzados en las minas de cal de la isla. No les permitían usar gafas oscuras y los reflejos del sol sobre la cal dañaron sus ojos para siempre. Estando en la cárcel murió su madre y uno de sus hijos, pero se le negó el permiso para asistir a sus funerales. En 1985 rechazó la oferta del presidente Pieter Willem Botha de libertad condicional sobre la premisa de que el presidente no estaba dispuesto a modificar su posición sobre el régimen del apartheid.

The Government of President Frederik Willem de Klerk released Mandela in February 1990, after legalizing the ANC and other political parties. Mandela took over the leadership of the ANC and led the negotiations with the Government between the difficult years of 1990 and 1994, when on many occasions seemed that negotiations would break and that violence would explode. In 1991, the South African regime repealed the last of laws constituting the legal basis of apartheid. Mandela and De Klerk shared in 1993 the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to establish democracy and racial harmony in South Africa. In May 1994, after the first general elections in which all racial groups (including blacks) had the right to vote, Mandela became the first President of the Republic of South Africa black. Upon assuming his post as President he gave up a third of the salary and created the Nelson Mandela Fund for children. After parliamentary approval, in May 1996, of the new South African Constitution, the own Mandela signed it in December of that year before thousands of people in Johannesburg, thus putting an end to the period of transition to democracy started with his release from prison in 1990 and also meaning the disappearance of the coalition Government formed by the ANC and the National party of Frederik Willem de Klerk. Mandela became definitively, in 1997, in an undisputed leader of African international relations, to mediate in various conflicts, as in of Zaire (today Democratic Republic of the Congo), which in the first half of this year finally be the end of the regime of Mobutu Sese Seko.

On 20 June 1999, Mandela hands power to his successor, Thabo Mbeki, and retires from politics, at least formally. Since he left office he assumed various responsibilities of leadership in several areas, including the negotiations on the conflict in the Great Lakes region.

In July 2001, the office of Nelson Mandela announced that the former South African President, suffers from prostate cancer.

Mandela married three times and had 5 children. Winnie Mandela, his former wife, It was arrested accused of fraud and theft in a case of bank loans. His last wife is the former first lady of Mozambique, Graça Machel.

He received more than 100 honorary degrees and awards from all over the world.

Nelson Mandela died in the company of his family at his home in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, around 20:50 localtime from the 5 of December of 2013, at 95.

That was South African President and leader in the anti-apartheid struggle drew from years ago a delicate state of health. He was hospitalized on June 8 this year in Pretoria, due to pneumonia, which kept him away from the official events. His last public appearance occurred in 2010 during the football World Cup which was held in his country.
Translated for educational purposes.
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