Nelson Mandela

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Nelson Mandela is a former freedom fighter who became the first president of South Africa in the post-apartheid period. He was born in a village in the South African Transkei on 18th July 1918. His father was the principal advisor to the chief of Thembuland. His ambition as a child was to study law and make a contribution to the freedom movement in South Africa.
An association of young blacks, whose aim was to improve the situation of black people in the whole of Africa, was formed in South Africa in 1912. It became the African National Congress (the ANC), and Mandela joined it in 1942. During the 1939-45 war, he was one of a small group of intellectuals which tried to transform the ANC into a mass movement. The wanted to represent the millions of working people in the towns and country side who had no vote and no power.
During the 1950s, Mandela was banned from working as a lawyer and was often arrested and imprisoned. In the early 1960s, the ANC was made illegal and went underground. Mandela was a leading figure in this new phase of the conflict.
In 1962, Mandela left the country illegally and traveled abroad for several months. When he returned to South Africa, he was arrested and charged with illegal exit from the country. He was convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment. After being sentenced, he said this: I have fought against while domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all people live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if necessary, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. While serving his sentence, he was charged and found guilty of sabotage and was to life imprisonment. He spent 27 years in detention before he was released on 11th February 1990. In 1991, the ANC held its first national conference inside South Africa after being banned for decades. Mandela was elected President of the ANC. In 1993, he agreed to accept the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of all the South Africans who suffered to bring peace to the nation. He was President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. ...


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