Was Mandela a Freedom Fighter or Terroist?

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  • Topic: Nelson Mandela, South Africa, African National Congress
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  • Published : November 26, 2012
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Was Mandela a freedom fighter or a terrorist?
Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in the Eastern Cape of South Africa (Williams and Hermann, 2012). After hearing the stories of his ancestor’s bravery, he was inspired and he dreamed of making his own impact to his people for freedom. (Venter, 2012). I believe that Nelson Mandela was a freedom fighter and not a terrorist. Sometimes the definitions of those two words may get mixed up and it is quite hard to identify the difference between the two, especially in this case. A terrorist deliberately targets the lives of innocent people for political reasons whereas a freedom fighter takes part in a violent struggle to achieve freedom, they do not aim at the lives of the public. If you were to look at the two definitions, I believe that Nelson Mandela should be classified as a freedom fighter as he did not target the lives of people; he fought for the freedom of the people of South Africa. In 1944 he joined the African National Congress (A political party made to unite all African people and give everyone equal human rights) (Unwembi, 2011) and was the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the rebellious part of ANC. Even though Umkhonto we Sizwe set up a series of attacks, they were fighting for equal rights and freedom against apartheid as apartheid had dived South Africa into races and eventually had given the ‘White South Africa’ control over the whole of South Africa. They also made new laws to create segregation. (Brain, 2011) Umkhonto we Sizwe said “The time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two choices - submit or fight. That time has now come to South Africa. We shall not submit and we have no choice but to hit back by all means in our power in defence of our people, our future, and our freedom.” This quote shows that they were fighting for freedom; they had sacrificed everything, knowing the consequences that could occur they still fought for the rights for their people.

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