Nelson Mandela

South African politician and anti-apartheid fighter, President of South Africa (1994–1999) Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela is a South African anti-apartheid activist, revolutionary and politician who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, the first to be elected in a fully representative, multiracial election. His administration focused on dismantling apartheid's legacy, and cutting racism, poverty and inequality. Politically a democratic socialist, he served as president of the African National Congress political party from 1990 to 1999.
Nelson Mandela's personal information overview.
18 July 1918
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The life of Nelson Mandela, now available online in massive archive -
Google News - almost 6 years The life of <a class="fplink fp-205054" href="/Nelson+Mandela+1">Nelson Mandela</a>, now available online in massive archive THOUSANDS of handwritten documents, photographs and videos of <a class="fplink fp-205054" href="/Nelson+Mandela+1">Nelson Mandela</a> have been digitised and placed online Tuesday in a massive archive of the life of South Africa's first black president. The digital archive was created by the <a class="fplink fp-205054" href="/Nelson+Mandela+1">Nelson Mandela</a> ... <a class="fplink fp-205054" href="/Nelson+Mandela+1">Nelson Mandela</a> mass digital archive goes <a class="fplink fp-205054" href="/Nelson+Mandela+1">Nelson Mandela</a> digital archive launchedBBC News <a class="fplink fp-205054" href="/Nelson+Mandela+1">Nelson Mandela</a> archive launches digital treasure troveThe Guardian Reuters Africa -News24 all 214 news articles »
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Global Salute to Nelson Mandela
Black Voice News - almost 6 years
(NNPA) All of humanity continues to be irreversibly uplifted by the indefatigable leadership and irrepressible spirit of <a class="fplink fp-205054" href="/Nelson+Mandela+1">Nelson Mandela</a>. South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC), as well as all people throughout the world should pause with the greatest of Read more...
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Comment on Nelson Mandela hospitalized by To war!
Information Nigeria - almost 6 years
God we remember surely ur past struggle 4 humanity in general nd grant u quick recovery.dis is ma humbl logomakky!!
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Nelson Mandela Is Released From Hospital
NYTimes - almost 6 years
Former President <a class="fplink fp-205054" href="/Nelson+Mandela+1">Nelson Mandela</a> was discharged after an overnight stay and a diagnostic procedure, Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s current president, announced.
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Nelson Mandela Is Released From Hospital
NYTimes - almost 6 years
Former President <a class="fplink fp-205054" href="/Nelson+Mandela+1">Nelson Mandela</a> was discharged after an overnight stay and a diagnostic procedure, Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s current president, announced.
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Nelson Mandela a quitté l'hôpital
The Huffington Post - almost 6 years
JOHANNESBURG, 26 février 2012 (AFP) - L'ancien président sud-africain <a class="fplink fp-205054" href="/Nelson+Mandela+1">Nelson Mandela</a>, hospitalisé pour des douleurs abdominales, a quitté dimanche l'hopital, rien de grave n'ayant été décelé, a annoncé la présidence. "Les médecins ont décidé de le renvoyer chez lui, car la procédure de diagnostic qu'il a subie n'a rien montré de vraiment grave", a-t-elle dit dans un communiqué. More...
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Nelson Mandela Leaves Hospital After Minor Surgery
NPR - almost 6 years
A South African presidential spokesman says the 93-year-old Nobel peace laureate was released Sunday after undergoing a laparoscopy. During the procedure, surgeons make an incision in the belly to insert a thin, lighted tube to look at abdominal organs. » E-Mail This     » Add to
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Nelson Mandela
  • 2013
    Age 94
    He was portrayed by Idris Elba in the 2013 film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
    On 16 December 2013, the Day of Reconciliation, a nine-metre-high, bronze statue of Mandela was unveiled at the Union Buildings by President Jacob Zuma.
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    Zuma publicly announced his death on television, proclaiming ten days of national mourning, a memorial service held at Johannesburg's FNB Stadium on 10 December 2013, and 8 December as a national day of prayer and reflection.
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    In September 2013, Mandela was discharged from hospital, although his condition remained unstable.
    In June 2013, his lung infection worsened and he was rehospitalised in Pretoria in a serious condition.
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    After a successful medical procedure in early March 2013, his lung infection recurred and he was briefly hospitalised in Pretoria.
    In mid-2013, as Mandela was hospitalised for a lung infection in Pretoria, his descendants were involved in an intra-family legal dispute relating to the burial place of Mandela's children, and ultimately Mandela himself.
  • 2011
    Age 92
    In February 2011, Mandela was briefly hospitalised with a respiratory infection, attracting international attention, before being re-hospitalised for a lung infection and gallstone removal in December 2012.
  • 2009
    Age 90
    In November 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed Mandela's birthday, 18 July, as "Mandela Day", marking his contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle.
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    Mandela was more at ease with Mbeki's successor, Zuma, although the Nelson Mandela Foundation was upset when his grandson, Mandla Mandela, flew him out to the Eastern Cape to attend a pro-Zuma rally in the midst of a storm in 2009.
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  • 2008
    Age 89
    Mandela's 90th birthday was marked across the country on 18 July 2008, with the main celebrations held at Qunu, and a concert in his honour in Hyde Park, London.
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  • 2007
    Age 88
    When this proved ineffective, he spoke out publicly against Mugabe in 2007, asking him to step down "with residual respect and a modicum of dignity."
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  • 2005
    Age 86
    He retained some involvement in international affairs. In 2005, he founded the Nelson Mandela Legacy Trust, travelling to the U.S. to speak before the Brookings Institution and the NAACP on the need for economic assistance to Africa.
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  • 2004
    Age 85
    In June 2004, aged 85 and amid failing health, Mandela announced that he was "retiring from retirement" and retreating from public life, remarking, "Don't call me, I will call you."
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  • 2003
    Age 84
    In 2003, he spoke out against the plans for the US and UK to launch a war in Iraq, describing it as "a tragedy" and lambasting US President George W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair for undermining the UN, saying, "All that (Mr. Bush) wants is Iraqi oil".
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  • 2002
    Age 83
    In 2002, Mandela inaugurated the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, and in 2003 the Mandela Rhodes Foundation was created at Rhodes House, University of Oxford, to provide postgraduate scholarships to African students.
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  • 2001
    Age 82
    Mandela was successfully treated for prostate cancer in July 2001.
  • 1999
    Age 80
    Finding such seclusion difficult, he reverted to a busy public life with a daily programme of tasks, met with world leaders and celebrities, and, when in Johannesburg, worked with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, founded in 1999 to focus on rural development, school construction, and combating HIV/AIDS.
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    Retiring in June 1999, Mandela sought a quiet family life, to be divided between Johannesburg and Qunu.
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    Although opinion polls in South Africa showed wavering support for both the ANC and the government, Mandela himself remained highly popular, with 80% of South Africans polled in 1999 expressing satisfaction with his performance as president.
    He gave his farewell speech to Parliament on 29 March 1999 when it adjourned prior the 1999 general elections, after which he retired.
    He declined a second presidential term and in 1999 was succeeded by his deputy, Thabo Mbeki.
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  • 1998
    Age 79
    Inkatha remained part of the coalition, and when both Mandela and Mbeki were out of the country in September 1998, Buthelezi was appointed "Acting President", marking an improvement in his relationship with Mandela.
    Mandela's relationship with Machel had intensified; in February 1998, he publicly stated that he was "in love with a remarkable lady", and under pressure from his friend Desmond Tutu, who urged him to set an example for young people, he organised a wedding for his 80th birthday, in July that year.
  • 1997
    Age 78
    Mandela stepped down as ANC President at the party's December 1997 conference.
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    During a 1997 visit to London, he said that "the ruler of South Africa, the de facto ruler, is Thabo Mbeki" and that he was "shifting everything to him".
    Mandela attracted controversy for his close relationship with Indonesian President Suharto, whose regime was responsible for mass human rights abuses, although on a July 1997 visit to Indonesia he privately urged him to withdraw from the occupation of East Timor.
  • 1996
    Age 77
    Although the 1996 constitution allowed the president to serve two consecutive five-year terms, Mandela had never planned to stand for a second term in office.
    In 1996, he was appointed Chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and initiated unsuccessful negotiations to end the First Congo War in Zaire.
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    However, under pressure from the PRC, in November 1996 he cut recognition of Taiwan, and in May 1999 paid an official visit to Beijing.
    Under Mandela's presidency, welfare spending increased by 13% in 1996/97, 13% in 1997/98, and 7% in 1998/99.
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    Dedicated in February 1996, it held two years of hearings detailing rapes, torture, bombings, and assassinations, before issuing its final report in October 1998.
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  • 1995
    Age 76
    In 1995, he divorced Winnie, and married Graça Machel on his 80th birthday in 1998.
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    He encouraged black South Africans to get behind the previously hated national rugby team, the Springboks, as South Africa hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
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    In January 1995, Mandela heavily chastised him for awarding amnesty to 3,500 police officers just before the election, and later criticised him for defending former Minister of Defence Magnus Malan when the latter was charged with murder.
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    By 1995, he had entered into a relationship with Graça Machel, a Mozambican political activist 27 years his junior who was the widow of former president Samora Machel.
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  • 1994
    Age 75
    In late 1994, he attended the 49th conference of the ANC in Bloemfontein, at which a more militant national executive was elected, among them Winnie Mandela; although she expressed an interest in reconciling, Nelson initiated divorce proceedings in August 1995.
    In December 1994, Mandela published Long Walk to Freedom, an autobiography based around a manuscript he had written in prison, augmented by interviews conducted with American journalist Richard Stengel.
    The newly elected National Assembly's first act was to formally elect Mandela as South Africa's first black chief executive. His inauguration took place in Pretoria on 10 May 1994, televised to a billion viewers globally.
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    Mandela and de Klerk negotiated an end to apartheid and organised the 1994 multiracial general election in which Mandela led the ANC to victory and became President.
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  • 1993
    Age 74
    In July 1993, both Mandela and de Klerk visited the US, independently meeting President Bill Clinton and each receiving the Liberty Medal.
  • 1992
    Age 73
    CODESA 2 was held in May 1992, at which de Klerk insisted that post-apartheid South Africa must use a federal system with a rotating presidency to ensure the protection of ethnic minorities; Mandela opposed this, demanding a unitary system governed by majority rule.
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    Although criticised by socialist ANC members, he was encouraged to embrace private enterprise by members of the Chinese and Vietnamese Communist parties at the January 1992 World Economic Forum in Switzerland. With the election set for 27 April 1994, the ANC began campaigning, opening 100 election offices and orchestrating People's Forums across the country, at which Mandela could appear, as a popular figure with great status among black South Africans.
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  • 1991
    Age 72
    At the ANC's July 1991 national conference in Durban, Mandela admitted the party's faults and announced his aim to build a "strong and well-oiled task force" for securing majority rule.
    In September 1991, a national peace conference was held in Johannesburg at which Mandela, Buthelezi and de Klerk signed a peace accord, though the violence continued.
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    He gained funding for her defence from the International Defence and Aid Fund for Southern Africa and from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, but in June 1991 she was found guilty and sentenced to six years in prison, reduced to two on appeal.
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    Ideologically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997.
  • 1990
    Age 71
    Although some were deeply opposed to his plans, de Klerk met with Mandela in December to discuss the situation, a meeting both men considered friendly, before legalising all formerly banned political parties in February 1990 and announcing Mandela's unconditional release.
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    In May 1990, Mandela led a multiracial ANC delegation into preliminary negotiations with a government delegation of 11 Afrikaner men.
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    Amid international pressure and growing fear of a racial civil war, President F. W. de Klerk released him in 1990.
  • 1989
    Age 70
    Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, de Klerk called his cabinet together to debate legalising the ANC and freeing Mandela.
    In a surprise move, Botha invited Mandela to a meeting over tea in July 1989, an invitation Mandela considered genial.
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    In 1989, Botha suffered a stroke, retaining the state presidency but stepping down as leader of the National Party, to be replaced by F. W. de Klerk.
  • 1988
    Age 69
    Recovering from tuberculosis exacerbated by the dank conditions in his cell, in December 1988 Mandela was moved to Victor Verster Prison near Paarl.
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    Mandela's 70th birthday in July 1988 attracted international attention, notably with a tribute concert at London's Wembley Stadium that was televised and watched by an estimated 200 million viewers.
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    Coetsee organised negotiations between Mandela and a team of four government figures starting in May 1988; the team agreed to the release of political prisoners and the legalisation of the ANC on the condition that they permanently renounce violence, break links with the Communist Party, and not insist on majority rule.
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  • 1987
    Age 68
    Thatcher attracted international attention for describing the ANC as "a typical terrorist organisation" in 1987, although she later called on Botha to release Mandela.
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    Mandela requested talks with Botha but was denied, instead secretly meeting with Minister of Justice Kobie Coetsee in 1987, having a further 11 meetings over the next three years.
  • 1985
    Age 66
    In 1985, Mandela underwent surgery on an enlarged prostate gland, before being given new solitary quarters on the ground floor. He was met by "seven eminent persons", an international delegation sent to negotiate a settlement, but Botha's government refused to co-operate, in June calling a state of emergency and initiating a police crackdown on unrest. The anti-apartheid resistance fought back, with the ANC committing 231 attacks in 1986 and 235 in 1987.
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    Although considering Mandela a dangerous "arch-Marxist", in February 1985 Botha offered him a release from prison on condition that he "unconditionally rejected violence as a political weapon".
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  • 1982
    Age 63
    In April 1982, Mandela was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in Tokai, Cape Town along with senior ANC leaders Walter Sisulu, Andrew Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada, and Raymond Mhlaba; they believed that they were being isolated to remove their influence on younger activists at Robben Island.
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  • 1980
    Age 61
    In March 1980, the slogan "Free Mandela!" was developed by journalist Percy Qoboza, sparking an international campaign that led the UN Security Council to call for his release.
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  • 1979
    Age 60
    He was awarded an honorary doctorate in Lesotho, the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding in India in 1979, and the Freedom of the City of Glasgow, Scotland in 1981.
  • 1978
    Age 59
    Renewed international interest in his plight came in July 1978, when he celebrated his 60th birthday.
  • 1975
    Age 56
    By 1975, Mandela had become a Class A prisoner, allowing greater numbers of visits and letters; he corresponded with anti-apartheid activists like Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Desmond Tutu.
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    His wife was rarely able to visit, being regularly imprisoned for political activity, and his daughters first visited in December 1975; Winnie got out of prison in 1977 but was forcibly settled in Brandfort, still unable to visit him.
  • 1974
    Age 55
    South African Minister of Justice Jimmy Kruger visited in December 1974, but he and Mandela did not get on.
  • 1970
    Age 51
    In 1970, Commander Piet Badenhorst became commanding officer.
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    In September 1970, he met British Labour Party MP Dennis Healey.
  • 1968
    Age 49
    His mother visited in 1968, dying shortly after, and his firstborn son Thembi died in a car accident the following year; Mandela was forbidden from attending either funeral.
  • 1964
    Age 45
    Judge Quartus de Wet soon threw out the prosecution's case for insufficient evidence, but Yutar reformulated the charges, presenting his new case from December until February 1964, calling 173 witnesses and bringing thousands of documents and photographs to the trial.
    On 12 June 1964, justice De Wet found Mandela and two of his co-accused guilty on all four charges; although the prosecution had called for the death sentence to be applied, the judge instead condemned them to life imprisonment.
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  • 1962
    Age 43
    On 5 August 1962, police captured Mandela along with fellow activist Cecil Williams near Howick.
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    The ANC decided to send Mandela as a delegate to the February 1962 Pan-African Freedom Movement for East, Central and Southern Africa (PAFMECSA) meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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  • 1961
    Age 42
    Inspired by the actions of Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement in the Cuban Revolution, in 1961 Mandela, Sisulu, and Slovo co-founded Umkhonto we Sizwe ("Spear of the Nation", abbreviated MK).
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    Over the following months, Mandela used his free time to organise an All-In African Conference near Pietermaritzburg, Natal, in March 1961, at which 1,400 anti-apartheid delegates met, agreeing on a stay-at-home strike to mark 31 May, the day South Africa became a republic.
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  • 1960
    Age 41
    Imprisonment caused problems for Mandela and his co-defendants in the Treason Trial; their lawyers could not reach them, and so it was decided that the lawyers would withdraw in protest until the accused were freed from prison when the state of emergency was lifted in late August 1960.
  • 1959
    Age 40
    In April 1959, Africanists dissatisfied with the ANC's united front approach founded the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC); Mandela disagreed with the group's racially exclusionary views, describing them as "immature" and "naïve".
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  • 1958
    Age 39
    The formal Treason Trial began in Pretoria in August 1958, with the defendants successfully applying to have the three judges – all linked to the governing National Party – replaced.
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    During the divorce proceedings, he began courting and politicising a social worker, Winnie Madikizela, whom he married in Bizana in June 1958.
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    She withdrew her petition of separation in November, but Mandela filed for divorce in January 1958; the divorce was finalised in March, with the children placed in Evelyn's care.
  • 1956
    Age 37
    Initiating divorce proceedings in May 1956, she claimed that Mandela had physically abused her; he denied the allegations, and fought for custody of their children.
    In March 1956 he received his third ban on public appearances, restricting him to Johannesburg for five years, but he often defied it.
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  • 1955
    Age 36
    Following the end of a second ban in September 1955, Mandela went on a working holiday to Transkei to discuss the implications of the Bantu Authorities Act, 1951 with local tribal leaders, also visiting his mother and Noengland before proceeding to Cape Town.
  • 1954
    Age 35
    Although a second daughter, Makaziwe Phumia, was born in May 1954, Mandela's relationship with Evelyn became strained, and she accused him of adultery.
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  • 1953
    Age 34
    In September 1953, Andrew Kunene read out Mandela's "No Easy Walk to Freedom" speech at a Transvaal ANC meeting; the title was taken from a quote by Indian independence leader Jawaharlal Nehru, a seminal influence on Mandela's thought.
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    Mandela obtained work as an attorney for the firm Terblanche and Briggish, before moving to the liberal-run Helman and Michel, passing qualification exams to become a full-fledged attorney. In August 1953, Mandela and Tambo opened their own law firm, Mandela and Tambo, operating in downtown Johannesburg.
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  • 1952
    Age 33
    In July 1952, Mandela was arrested under the Suppression of Communism Act and stood trial as one of the 21 accused – among them Moroka, Sisulu, and Yusuf Dadoo – in Johannesburg.
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    In April 1952, Mandela began work at the H.M. Basner law firm, which was owned by a communist, although his increasing commitment to work and activism meant he spent less time with his family.
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    After the Afrikaner minority government of the National Party established apartheid—a system of racial segregation that privileged whites—he was appointed President of the ANC's Transvaal branch, rising to prominence for his involvement in the 1952 anti-apartheid Defiance Campaign and the 1955 Congress of the People.
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  • 1951
    Age 32
    At the ANC national conference of December 1951, he continued arguing against a racially united front, but was outvoted.
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  • 1950
    Age 31
    Mandela opposed the strike because it was multi-racial and not ANC-led, but a majority of black workers took part, resulting in increased police repression and the introduction of the Suppression of Communism Act, 1950, affecting the actions of all protest groups.
    Mandela took Xuma's place on the ANC national executive in March 1950, and that same year was elected national president of the ANCYL.
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  • 1949
    Age 30
    Having devoted his time to politics, Mandela failed his final year at Witwatersrand three times; he was ultimately denied his degree in December 1949.
  • 1947
    Age 28
    In 1947, Mandela was elected to the executive committee of the ANC's Transvaal Province branch, serving under regional president C. S. Ramohanoe.
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    Mandela disagreed with Mda's approach, in December 1947 supporting an unsuccessful measure to expel communists from the ANCYL, considering their ideology un-African.
    In July 1947, Mandela rushed Lembede, who was ill, to hospital, where he died; he was succeeded as ANCYL president by the more moderate Peter Mda, who agreed to co-operate with communists and non-blacks, appointing Mandela ANCYL secretary.
    In early 1947, his three years of articles ended at Witkin, Sidelsky and Eidelman, and he decided to become a full-time student, subsisting on loans from the Bantu Welfare Trust.
  • 1944
    Age 25
    His first marriage was to Evelyn Ntoko Mase in October 1944; they divorced after 13 years in 1957 under the multiple strains of his adultery and constant absences, devotion to revolutionary agitation, and the fact that she was a Jehovah's Witness, a religion requiring political neutrality.
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    Deciding on the need for a youth wing to mass-mobilise Africans in opposition to their subjugation, Mandela was among a delegation that approached ANC President Alfred Bitini Xuma on the subject at his home in Sophiatown; the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) was founded on Easter Sunday 1944 in the Bantu Men's Social Centre, with Lembede as President and Mandela as a member of its executive committee. At Sisulu's house, Mandela met Evelyn Mase, a trainee nurse and ANC activist from Engcobo, Transkei. Entering a relationship and marrying in October 1944, they initially lived with her relatives until moving in to a rented house in the township of Orlando in early 1946.
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  • 1943
    Age 24
    In 1943, Mandela met Anton Lembede, an ANC member affiliated with the Africanist branch of African nationalism, which was virulently opposed to a racially united front against colonialism and imperialism or to an alliance with the communists.
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    Becoming increasingly politicised, in August 1943 Mandela marched in support of a successful bus boycott to reverse fare rises.
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    After he passed his BA exams in early 1943, Mandela returned to Johannesburg to follow a political path as a lawyer rather than become a privy councillor in Thembuland.
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  • 1942
    Age 23
    On his return to Thembuland, the regent died in winter 1942; Mandela and Justice arrived a day late for the funeral.
  • 1941
    Age 22
    In late 1941, Jongintaba visited, forgiving Mandela for running away.
  • 1940
    Age 21
    Returning to Mqhekezweni in December 1940, Mandela found that Jongintaba had arranged marriages for him and Justice; dismayed, they fled to Johannesburg via Queenstown, arriving in April 1941.
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  • 1939
    Age 20
    With Jongintaba's backing, in 1939 Mandela began work on a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree at the University of Fort Hare, an elite black institution in Alice, Eastern Cape, with around 150 students.
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  • 1937
    Age 18
    He completed his Junior Certificate in two years, and in 1937 moved to Healdtown, the Methodist college in Fort Beaufort attended by most Thembu royalty, including Justice.
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  • 1933
    Age 14
    Intending to gain skills needed to become a privy councillor for the Thembu royal house, in 1933 Mandela began his secondary education at Clarkebury Methodist High School, Engcobo, a Western-style institution that was the largest school for black Africans in Thembuland.
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  • 1926
    Age 7
    In 1926, Gadla was also sacked for corruption, but Nelson was told that his father had lost his job for standing up to the magistrate's unreasonable demands.
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  • 1918
    Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in the village of Mvezo in Umtata, then part of South Africa's Cape Province.
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