Nelson Mandela leader

Nelson Mandela

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About Nelson Mandela

Last update: February, 2017

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, better known as Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, Union of South Africa, and died on December 5, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The famous historical figure was a lawyer, an activist against the system of racial segregation apartheid, a politician and a South African philanthropist who served as president of his country from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black president who headed the executive and the first to be elected by universal suffrage in his country.

The government of the famous historical character was dedicated to removing the policies and social structure inherited of the apartheid. He did so by fighting against institutionalized racism, poverty, social inequality and promoting social reconciliation. He presided over the African National Congress between 1991 and 1997 and, in the following two years, he was secretary general of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Mandela studied law in the Fort Hare University and in Witwatersrand University. After coming to power of the National Party in 1948, he gained prominence during the Challenge Campaign in 1952 and was elected as regional president of the African National Congress (ANC) in the province of Transvaal. In addition, he chaired the People's Congress of 1955. The politician was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and as part of the leadership of the ANC, he was indicted in the Treason Trial from 1956 to 1961. He joined secretly to South African Communist Party (SACP) and he was part of its central committee. Although he was in favor of non-violent protests, he founded and commanded the guerrilla/terrorist organization Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) or \"Spear of the Nation\", in 1961 associated with the SACP. A year later he was arrested and charged with conspiracy to overthrow the government, a fact for which he was sentenced to life in prison during the Rivonia process.

Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years and was released in 1990 when there was a social unrest in South Africa. The famous historical character joined political negotiations with Frederik de Klerk to abolish Apartheid and establish the general elections of 1994. He after became South Africa's first black president. During his government of National Unity, he proposed to the other political parties to join his cabinet to create a new constitution. He also created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate human rights violations committed during the apartheid years.

Mandela declined to run for a second term of government and was succeeded by Thabo Mbeki. Upon retiring from politics, he devoted himself to charity and to fight against AIDS through the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Critics of Mandela accused him of being a communist and terrorist famous historical figure, but the international community provided support for his activism, which made him earn more than 250 honorable mentions and other awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. In South Africa he is considered a figure of respect and south Africans refer to him with the name of Madiba or Tata (father). He is considered the father of the South African nation.