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Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on the 18th July 1918 in the village of Mvezo in Thembuland, Transkei. His early life is steeped in rural African tradition and culture; tutored and guided by the Paramount Chief following the death of his father, his style of leadership and deep respect for people was gently and simply ingrained throughout his early life in the rolling hills of the Eastern Cape. He rose from poverty and became an attorney and in 1952, together with Oliver Tambo, he opened one of the first wholly African legal partnerships in Johannesburg.

In 1955, Mandela, as senior leader of the ANC, launched what has become known as the M-plan, a strategy and tactics organisational document resistance against apartheid laws which were becoming more and more intolerable. However, Mandella was arrested for his resistance activities and sentenced to 18 years in prison while the struggle against apartheid raged on.

Nelson Mandela During his years in prison, Nelson Mandela and his fellow political prisoners were not idle. They continued their resistance movement in prison. Finally, on 11 February 1988, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was released from prison and walked free for the first time in 27 years. He was met with national jubilation and international acclaim. In 1991, Nelson Mandela became President of the African National Congress leading the organisation and the people of South Africa into their first-ever democratic elections. Finally, on 10 May 1994, at the age of 76 years of age, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was sworn in as President of the Republic of South Africa.

Through his humble rural beginnings, great turbulence of resistance and struggle, incarceration for so long, he emerged, not bitter and vengeful but determined and committed to reconciliation and peace, he forged a history in South Africa comparable only to the great revolutions in France, America and Russia.

Get to know Nelson Mandela both politically and personally through the extensive information, pictures, audio and video available on these three wonderful websites:

The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela
The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela - 80th Birthday and Millenium Fund

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