Nelson Mandela

Topics: South Africa, African National Congress, Prison Pages: 4 (1400 words) Published: April 10, 2006
Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in Transkei, South Africa. He was educated at the University College of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand and qualified in law in 1942. In 1944, he joined the African National Congress (ANC) and became one of the many to engage in the resistance against Apartheid and the unjust white supremacy. In 1952, he earned the role of ANC deputy national president, and advocated nonviolent procedures towards Apartheid. From 1956 to 1961, he was arrested by the police and went on trial for treason, and fortunately was acquitted in 1961. After his release, he learned of several peaceful demonstrators being massacred, and so, he considered the use of guerrilla warfare and other violent tactics on the government. He was arrested once again on June 12, 1964 for plotting to overthrow the government by violence. He and seven others were sentenced to life imprisonment. During his time in prison, he became a symbol of resistance and gave his people strength. He stuck to his cause and constantly refused to compromise to obtain his freedom. Fortunately in 1990, President de Klerk, a president committed to change, was elected and immediately released Mandela. Nelson Mandela soon became the president of the ANC and was awarded the Nobel Peace Price in 1993. "After his release, he plunged himself wholeheartedly into his life's work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier" (Frängsmyr 1). This shows how even decades after Mandela had struggled for human rights, he did not give up. He proved to the people that his mind did not change and his goals still remained after many years in the cell walls. So, in South Africa's first multiracial elections in 1994, he was elected president of South Africa and served until 1999.

Nelson Mandela's ambition to change the horrible conditions of the people of South Africa had first come from his childhood. At that time, he learned about how...
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