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Nelson Mandela

Nelson+Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (1918-2013), born Rolihlahla Mandela, was a South African anti-apartheid politician who became the first president of South Africa from 1994-1999, being the country’s first African leader. He was ideologically a socialist and African nationalist. He served as the ANC (African National Congress) party president during the 1990s. He was born into the Thembu royal family in Mvezo, South Africa, as a Xhosa, the second largest ethnic group after the Zulu.

He studied law at two different universities before eventually becoming a lawyer in Johannesburg. He joined the ANC in 1943 and helped create the Youth League in 1944. After South Africa’s white-only government established apartheid rules (rules creating white dominance over other races), Nelson and the ANC worked together to try and overthrow the government.

He became more well-recognized after his involvement in the 1952 Defiance Campaign and the 1955 Congress of the People and was later appointed president of the ANC’s Transvaal (a province in South Africa) branch. He was arrested several times for conspiring against the government and was unsuccessfully prosecuted in 1956. He then secretly joined the banned SACP (South African Communist Party) after Marxist influence.

Though he originally took after Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent acts, he later co-founded the militant uMkhonto we Sizwe with the SACP and led a sabotage campaign against the government in 1961. He was then arrested and sent to life in prison in 1962 for activities against the state. He served his time across three different jails and was released after 27 years in 1990 by President F. W. de Klerk, due to fears of civil war and pressure put on the government from across the globe. The two then made an effort to end the apartheid in South Africa, which resulted in the nation’s first multiracial election. Mandela won in a landslide. However, he chose not to participate in a second term and was succeeded by his deputy.

He passed away in late 2013 after suffering from a lung infection.

The name “Nelson” comes from his teacher on the first day of school, who assigned everyone English names, Mandela said in 1994.

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Mikael Ronaque, Head of Department (World News)/Editor in Chief
Hello. I am Mikael, Head of Department of World News. I am a 7th grader at the time of writing and I edit/publish articles on this website. I am an Indian. I aim to write about various things around the world with as little bias as possible.

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