ANC In 1942, when he was 24, Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC). He formed a military component of this organization known as the MK, and he traveled to Algeria to organize military training for members of this group.. Upon his return to South Africa, Mandela was arrested for going between countries without a passport. He was tried for sabotage and trying to overthrow the government. He spent the next 28 years in prison where he continued to make a difference. [pic]
Rolihlahla Mandela was born into the Madiba clan in Mvezo, Transkei, on July 18, 1918. Rolihlahla Mandela became the first member of his family to attend a school, where his teacher, Miss Mdingane, gave him the English name "Nelson". Nelson Mandela began his studies for a Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University College of Fort Hare but did not complete the degree there as he was expelled for joining in a student protest. He completed his BA through the University of South Africa and went back to Fort Hare for his graduation in 1943. At the end of Nelson's first year, he became involved in a Students' Representative Council boycott against university policies. He was told to leave Fort Hare and not return unless he accepted election to the SRC. Later in his life, while in prison, Mandela studied for a Bachelor of Laws from the University of London External Programme. Political activity
After the 1948 election victory of the Afrikaner-dominated National Party, this supported the apartheid policy. Mandela began actively participating in politics. He led prominently in the ANC's 1952 Defiance Campaign and the 1955 Congress of the People, whose adoption of the Freedom Charter provided the fundamental basis of the anti-apartheid cause. During this time, Mandela and fellow lawyer Oliver Tambo operated the law firm of Mandela and Tambo, providing free or low-cost legal counsel to many blacks who lacked attorney representation. Mahatma Gandhi influenced Mandela's approach, and subsequently the methods of succeeding generations of South African anti-apartheid activists. Armed anti-apartheid activities
In 1961 Mandela became leader of the ANC's armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (translated Spear of the Nation, and also abbreviated MK), which he co-founded. He coordinated sabotage campaigns against military and government targets, making plans for a possible guerrilla war if the sabotage failed to end apartheid. Mandela also raised funds for MK abroad and arranged for paramilitary training of the group. Mandela described the move to armed struggle as a last resort; years of increasing repression and violence from the state convinced him that many years of non-violent protest against apartheid had not and could not achieve any progress. In June 1961, Mandela sent a letter to South African newspapers warning the government, that if they did not meet their demands, the Umkhonto we Sizwe would embark on a campaign of sabotage. The letter demanded the government accept a call for a national constitutional convention. The demands were not met by the government and beginning on 16 December 1961, the Umkhonto we Sizwe with Mandela as its leader, launched a bombing campaign against government targets with the first action of the campaign being the bombing of an electricity sub-station. In total, over the next eighteen months, the Umkhonto we Sizwe would initiate dozens more acts of sabotage and bombings. The South African government alleged more acts of sabotage had been carried out and at the Rivonia trial the accused would be charged with 193 acts of sabotage in total. The campaign of sabotage against the government included attacks on government posts, machines, power facilities, and crop burning in various places. Later, mostly in the 1980s, MK, the organisation co-founded by Mandela, waged a guerrilla war against the apartheid government in which many civilians became casualties. Arrest and Rivonia trial
On 5 August 1962 Mandela was...