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Illnesses Madiba has suffered
11 June 2011, 8:20 AM

In 1979 Mandela injured his heel during a tennis game, and had to be examinedin Cape Town. The doctor established that Mandela had first hurt his heel during a soccer match during his days at Fort Hare, but had never bothered tohave it medically checked. An operation was performed in Cape Town in anattempt to heal his heel.

In 1985 he was diagnosed with an enlarged prostate.

In 1965, political prisoners on Robben Island were taken to the lime quarry to work under harsh conditions for the first time

In 1977 manual labour ended on Robben Island


In 1988 Mandela fell ill and was transferred to hospital at Stellenbosch

University (Constantiaberg Medi-clinic), where he was diagnosed with early

tuberculosis (TB) – this was detected before holes in his lungs could start

showing. He was subsequently transferred to Constantiaberg hospital and from there moved to Victor Verster prison in Paarl on 9 December 1988

He chose to tell the story of his four-month bout with the disease during the

15th International AIDS Conference in 2004 where he spoke of the dangers of

TB coexisting with HIV in HIV infected people

In June 1999 he stepped down as president

In July 2001, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer

In 2002, he announced that his doctors had cleared of him of prostate cancer

Saturday 11 June 2011 08:20

Rumours about Mandela’s ill health very often surface


On 15 May 2004, he arrived at Lausanne to accept Fifa’s decision to award

South Africa the right to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup. This appearance was

against medical advice

In June 2004, he announced, for the second time, that he would retire from

public life


On 3 February 2006, he didn’t attend the opening of parliament, as he would

have done. His PA, Zelda la Grange said he was heeding medical advice


On 21 February 2007, there were rumours that he wasn’t well. These were

circulated in an email, which further warned of racial attacks in the event of his

death. At the time, Mandela himself came out to refute these rumours

Rumours about Mandela’s ill health very often surface. Also, very often, these

are quashed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation


On 15 February 2008, he appeared at an ANC election rally in the Eastern Cape

. He didn’t speak, but his grandson, chief Mandla ‘Zwelivelile’ Mandela did. He said his family, including Mandela, would always support the ANC. This sparked controversy from opposition political parties, that

Mandela had been used for electioneering. This also kindled concerns that

Mandela’s health had not been fine at the time.


On 9 May 2009 a frail Mandela was transported in a golf cart and then helped

on to the state at Pretoria’s Union Buildings as he went to witness the

inauguration of President Jacob Zuma. Thousands cheered for him

*(In the book Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela admits to not knowing the exact

cause of his father, Henry Gadla’s death. But he speculated that he could have

died from a lung related disease because on the night he died, he called for

Nodayimani (his youngest wife) and told her to bring him his tobacco. However, Mandela’s mother (Nosekeni) and Nodayimani thought it unwise to give a man practically on his deathbed (due to a lung related disease)

tobacco. However, Gadla insisted, until Nodayimani gave in, filled his pipe and gave it to him to smoke. He calmed down after smoking and he died with is pipe still lit in his mouth)


On 15 September 2010 he received the Mexican government’s highest award

for foreigners. His wife, Graca Machel accepted the award on his behalf in

Pretoria at the Union Buildings. She assured the public that Mandela was in good health


In 2011 Mandela was admitted to Milpark Hospital for what was initially called

‘routine tests’ and later referred to ‘specialised tests’




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On 28 January 2011, Mandela was discharged from
Milpark Hospital to receive home based care.


On 25 February 2012,
the Presidency released information that the former president had been
hospitalised, following a long standing abdominal complaint. The statement read
that Mandela’s complaint needed proper investigation and specialist medical
attention. Later President Zuma said that Mandela was in a satisfactory
condition and was fully conscious. He also confirmed that the elderly statesman
had undergone a diagnostic procedure (later said to be an investigative
laparoscopy by minister Lindiwe Sisulu). The procedure was confirmed to be part
of Mandela’s continued medical management.

On 26 February 2012,
Mandela was discharged from hospital.

On 8 December 2012,
there were reports that former president Nelson Mandela became hospitalised at
1 Military Hospital in Pretoria for medical attention. Three days later, he was
still hospitalised.

On 11 December 2012,
the presidency said that Mandela suffered from a lung infection. This was the
diagnosis at the conclusion of the tests. Mandela is also said to be responding
to treatment.

After being hospitalised for 18 days for a lung infection
and surgery to remove gallstones, former president Nelson Mandela was released
from hospital on 26 December 2012.The
Office of the Presidency released a statement that the nonagenarian had
recovered sufficiently enough to be released from hospital.

On 28 December 2012
his family said Mandela was doing well at home.




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On 06 April 2013 former
President Nelson Mandela was discharged from hospital. He received home-based
high care at his Houghton home after spending just over a week at the health

On 6 January 2013
the Office of the Presidency released a statement that Mandela had recovered
from the lung infection, as well as the gallstone surgery. Mandela continued to
receive home-based medical care at his Houghton home in Johannesburg.

On 10 March 2013
former President Nelson Mandela was discharged from a Pretoria hospital, after
being admitted for one night. Mandela had been admitted on 09 Match 2013, for what the presidency referred to as a ‘scheduled
medical check-up to manage existing conditions in line with his age’.

On 27 March 2013,
just before midnight 2013, Mandela was admitted, to an undisclosed Pretoria
hospital, due to a recurring lung infection. He had since been receiving
treatment for pneumonia. The presidency noted that he was discharged
“following a sustained and gradual improvement in his general

On 1 April 2013 Mandela
spent part of the day (Family Day) with some members of his family in hospital.

On 6 April 2013 former
President Nelson Mandela was discharged from an undisclosed Pretoria hospital.
He continued to receive home-based high care at his Houghton home.

On 08 June 2013,
former President Nelson Mandela was admitted in hospital again due to a lung
infection, according to the presidency, in a “serious but stable” condition.

On 12 June 2013,
there was a bit of relief and hope as SA President, Jacob Zuma told Parliament
that that Mandela was “responding well to treatment” after a “difficult few

On 23 June 2013,
the nation and the entire world were shaken when the Presidency announced Mandela’s
condition had worsened and the situation had become critical.

On 24 June 2013, President Jacob Zuma tells the media, “Doctors
are doing everything possible to ensure his wellbeing and comfort.”

The world’s icon, that breathed fresh air of hope, tolerance
and reconciliation in South Africa, remains critical as the nation holds its
breath, and continues to pray!




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Iconic moments in the great leader’s life
11 June 2011, 7:53 AM

18 July 1918, Mandela was born. During 1939, he enrolled at Fort Hare (studying English, Anthropology, Politics). In 1941, he met Walter Sisulu in Johannesburg. He passed his end of year exams for his BA at UNISA in 1942. In 1944 , he joined the ANC and co-founded the ANCYL. He married his first wife, Evelyn Ntoko Mase.


He was elected the ANCYL president


He opened his own law firm (at Chancellor House in Jhb)


He was arrested for High Treason


He married Winnie on 14 June a year after he divorced his first wife


On 21 March eh was found not guilty of High Treason


He was arrested in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal – and sentenced to three years


ON 12 June he was sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island.


On 31 March he was moved to Pollsmoor prison


On 31 January, the then National Party President, PW Botha, offered him conditional

Release which he refused.


He was diagnosed with TB and was hospitalized at Constantiaberg Medi-clinic

Four months later, on 24 December, he was moved to Victor Verster


P.W. Botha met with Mandela at Tuynhys, Cape Town. Mandela asked him to

release all political prisoners.

10 October, he told Sisulu, Kathrada and Mlangeni of their imminent release.


On 2 February, NP president, FW de Klerk announced the

unconditional release of Mandela

On 11 February, Mandela was released from prison

On 2 March the ANC NEC (National Executive Committee) named

Mandela ANC deputy president

On 5 April, Mandela met with De Klerk to discuss ANC government negotiations

From June to July, Mandela undertook a six week visit to countries in

Europe, North America and Africa

On 26 June, he addressed a U.S. Congress in the speech: Peace will not come to our country until apartheid is ended

ON 14 December he delivered the keynote address to the

ANC Consultative Conference:

The oppressed and exploited must lead South Africa out of Apartheid


He met with IFP’s Mangosuthu Buthelezi and agreed to measures to end

violence in KwaZulu Natal

On 22 February, he emphasized tolerance in a speech to the Johannesburg Press Club: Building a political culture that entrenches political tolerance

From 2-6 July the ANC held its first annual conference inside SA in 30 years

. Mandela was elected president of the ANC at this 48th National Conference

in Durban

On 20 December, he addressed the opening session of the Convention for

a Democratic SA (CODESA): Codesa is the fruit of sacrifice and struggle


On 17 March a Whites-only referendum was passed and its main question was:

‘Do you support the continuation of the reform process which the state president [de Klerk] began on 2 February 1990 which is aimed at a new constitution through negotiation?’

A two-thirds majority endorsed continued government negotiations on

the country’s future

On 13 April, Mandela announced his separation from Winnie, his second wife

On 9 July Mandela wrote a letter to FW De Klerk:

For a democratically elected and sovereign constituent assembly and on 15 July

addressed the United Nations Security Council with the theme:

A cold-blooded strategy of state terrorism

On 26 September a memorandum of understanding was signed between

Mandela and de Klerk, breaking the deadlock in negotiations.

This caused the IFP to withdraw from negotiations


In February, in an interview with Mayibuye, Mandela noted: 1993 can be a year of

decisive achievements

On 13 April, Mandela’s address to the nation following the assassination of SACP

leader, Chris Hani on 10 April, probably averted serous and protracted internal strife

At Hani’s funeral on 19 April, Mandela said: Apartheid must not be reformed;

it must be uprooted in its entirety

On 5 May and in a British parliamentary address (following the death of Oliver Tambo from a stroke) Mandela said: We must act together to give birth to a new South Africa

He addressed people on the 17th commemoration of the 1976 Student Uprising in Soweto

The Nobel Peace Prize 1993 was awarded jointly to Nelson Mandela and

FW de Klerk “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime,

and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa”

Saturday 11 June 2011 07:53

Apartheid must not be reformed; it must be uprooted in its entirety


On 2 May Mandela delivered his first Election Victory Speech in Johannesburg

On 10 May he was sworn in as South Africa’s first democratic president


On 14 February, he officially inaugurated the Constitutional Court

In March, Mandela received a visit from Queen Elizabeth II after SA was

recognised in the Commonwealth

On 18 March he accepted the National Peace Award in Durban

On 8 May he launched the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund

On 9 June he delivered the first Bram Fischer Memorial Lecture at the Johannesburg Market Theatre

On 24 June he was publicly presented with a rugby jersey by the SA captain.

SA won the Rugby Union World Cup


Mandela opened the 1996 African Cup of Nations Tournament in Johannesburg

On 8 May, he addressed the Constitutional Assembly, adopting the new

Constitution, and then unveiled the Mural celebrating the new constitution

On 9-12 July he visited the UK and received the freedom of the City of London…

he also received honorary degrees from eight leading universities there, including

Oxford and Cambridge. This was done during a ceremony held at

Buckingham Palace, where Queen Elizabeth II received Mandela

On 23 September, he unveiled the Monument of Enoch Sontonga on Heritage Day

On 25 October, having received an Honorary doctorate from Stellenbosch,

he expressed his appreciation and confidence that the gesture was a sign true sign

of reconciliation

On 10 December Mandela signed the new Constitution into law at Sharpeville,

noting that he was honoured and humbled to be able to do so


In March, Princess Diana visited Mandela in Cape Town

His visit to the UK included being received by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham palace. He also met Tony Blair and Prince Charles


On 18 July, he married his third wife, Graca Machel


On 5 February Mandela delivered his last State of the Nation address

In June, Mandela stepped down as president, making way for his successor,

Thabo Mbeki

In July, Sarah Ferguson, Prince Andrew’s ex visited Mandela at his Houghton home

On 18 July, the late Michael Jackson visited Mandela on his birthday.

He had brought with him a personalized birthday cake and spent the day with

Mandela, Graca, their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren

In August, he launched the Nelson Mandela Foundation

In November he accepted a mediation role in war-torn Burundi

In December he visited the United States to brief the then president Bill Clinton on

his efforts in the Middle East conflict


In May he lashed out against leaders who profited at the cost of their countries’


He issued a statement on building a global partnership for children

In July he pushed the Burundi peace initiative so vigorously that diplomats warned

him key players were left out of the process

In August he successfully placed pressure on Liberian leader Charles Taylor to

release captured journalists

In September he attended the Olympics in Sydney, Australia and received three

honorary doctorates from Australian Universities during his 10-day visit

In October, he was awarded the African of the Century award

In December, at the closing ceremony of the International Aids Conference in

Durban, Mandela reminded society that A tragedy of unprecedented proportions is

unfolding in Africa


In February he launched the Arusha Agreement in Tanzania in a bid to end civil

strife, but this only escalated within two weeks of the Arusha Agreement, and the

UN Security Council expressed its concern

Also in February, via video link, Mandela told an international conference on child

poverty that children must be moved to the centre of the world agenda, adding

30 000 children die needlessly every day worldwide

In July he criticised the denial and secrecy surrounding AIDS

In August he received the first Shaka award for courage from King Goodwill Zwelithini

In November he became the first living person to be made honorary citizen of

Canada. He asked the then prime minister of Canada, Jean-Pierre Chrétien, to help

fund peace in the Congo


In February he cautioned the government not to limit freedom of the press

In June, he publicly mourned the death of discredited SA cricket hero Hansie Cronje

In August Mandela became the real ‘hot property’ at the WSSD (World Summit on

Sustainable Development), creating concern that he would upstage any event

attended by President Mbeki, so he made himself inaccessible

In October he received the International Peace Prize he was awarded by the old

USSR in 1990

In December, he welcomed US talk show host Oprah Winfrey


In February Mandela called then UK prime minister Tony Blair “the foreign minister

of the US”, thus embarrassing him

In May, he met British soccer star David Beckham

He was voted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame as the greatest champion of

all time

In June, he and Muhammad Ali were guests of honour at the Opening of the

Special Olympics

In September he and Her Majesty Queen Noor, became Patrons of the Vth IUCN World Parks

In October Mandela launched a worldwide music-led campaign, 46664, in London to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in Africa

In November he attended the first 46664 conference to raise funds for AIDS victims, with Bono, The Edge and Dave Stewart starring at the concert


In February he met South African Oscar award-winning actress, Charlize Theron

In April Mandela lobbied for the support of the Caribbean islands in an effort

to secure the 2010 Soccer World Cup

Also in April he, on an ANC campaign trail, proved to be a major drawing card,

and attracted thousands of people to mass rallies ahead of the General election

on 14 April 2004

In June he announced his retirement from public life for the second time, stating

that he was retiring from his punishing retirement schedule


On 12 July Mandela greed to become a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in recognition for showing unfailing commitment to democracy, equality and learning, as well as

adding an exemplary contribution to international peace and understanding

On 4 October Mandela topped an international BBC poll to find the 11 leaders the

people of the world would like to run a fantasy global government


Mandela agreed to become patron of the African Forum at a function in

Mozambique, where fourteen other former heads of government met with the

intent to contribute to conflict resolution. Due to this commitment, Mandela was

unable to meet the president-elect of Bolivia, Evo Morales

On 1 November Amnesty International bestowed its most prestigious honour –

the Ambassador of Conscience Award 2006 – on Mandela. The award recognised

exceptional individual leadership in the fight to protect and promote universal

human rights.


On 2 January the Oprah leadership academy for girls from poor backgrounds

opened and Mandela delivered an address, congratulating talk show host Oprah

Winfrey on being a benefactor to the disadvantaged around the world. It was

Mandela who had requested Oprah to support efforts in education in South Africa

On 18 July He launched the humanitarian club of “Global Elders”. These include the

likes of Jimmy Carter, Mary Robinson and Kofi Annan

On 29 August a statue of Mandela was unveiled in Parliament Square following a

seven year campaign led by Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London


On 2 July the White House said the then President George W Bush removed

Mandela and other ANC members from the US terror watch list

On 5 November, he congratulated American President Barack Obama on his



On 15 February, 90 year Mandela made an appearance at and Eastern Cape

electioneering rally. This sparked concerns about his health

On 9 May, the frail elderly statesman was transported in golf cart and then helped

onto the stage at Pretoria’s Union Buildings as he went to witness President

Jacob Zuma’s inauguration. Thousands of supporters cheered for him

In June the 46664 campaign spearheaded the launch of Mandela Day on behalf of

all the Nelson Mandela organisations – the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, the Mandela Rhodes Foundation – and called on people around the world to support the creation of an official

Mandela Day, to be held annually on July 18, Mandela’s birthday.

On 7 July the honorable Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the

Republic of Bulgaria to South Africa, Volodya Neykov conferred the

Highest State Award – Order of the Starra Planini – of the Republic of Bulgaria on behalf of His Excellency, Mr. Georgi Parvanov, the President of the Republic of Bulgaria on Mr. Mandela.


On 11 July Mandela and his wife Graca Machel appeared briefly at

Soccer City stadium for the closing ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup on 11 July 2010. They missed the opening due to the death of Mandela’s great-grandchild

On 15 September he received the Mexican government’s highest award for

foreigners, the Order of the Mexican Eagle. Graca Machel gave the assurance

that “he is fine, he is healthy, but as he himself says, he is old” when

she accepted the award on his behalf in Pretoria

On 13 October, at gathering in Bamako, Mali, the African Editors’ Forum honoured

Mandela (and leaders who had created media-friendly societies during their term

in office) for his commitment to press freedom during his term in office with an

award. The award was accepted by Nelson Mandela Foundation Trustee Professor

Njabulo Ndebele on behalf of Mandela



Following his release and during his presidency, Mandela visited many countries

in the world, thanking them for their support at the height of apartheid.

He was involved in mediation efforts both in Africa and abroad

(e.g. Middle East and Burundi, to mention but a few).

He not only emphasized on reconciliation, but also promoted peaceful resolutions

to conflict. He also brought attention to issues of HIV/AIDS, poverty and

the importance of aid in Africa. Mandela received numerous honorary doctorates

and awards in recognition of his efforts

Mandela as a leader had achieved what many people believed to be an impossible

task – a united South Africa. As a traditionalist, struggle leader, democrat,

and respected world statesman, it was difficult to equal someone as committed

to causes and people as Mandela. More than anything, as a reconciliatory

statesman, he earned more accolades than any South African current political figure.

Biography – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
11 June 2011, 7:43 AM

Nelson Mandela’s greatest pleasure, his most private moment, is watching the sun set with the music of Handel or Tchaikovsky playing.

Locked up in his cell during daylight hours, deprived of music, both these simple pleasures were denied him for decades. With his fellow prisoners, concerts were organized when possible, particularly at Christmas time, where they would sing. Nelson Mandela finds music very uplifting, and takes a keen interest not only in European classical music but also in African choral music and the many talents in South African music. But one voice stands out above all – that of Paul Robeson, whom he describes as our hero.

The years in jail reinforced habits that were already entrenched: the disciplined eating regime of an athlete began in the 1940s, as did the early morning exercise. Still today Nelson Mandela is up by 4.30am, irrespective of how late he has worked the previous evening. By 5am he has begun his exercise routine that lasts at least an hour. Breakfast is by 6.30, when the days newspapers are read. The day s work has begun.

With a standard working day of at least 12 hours, time management is critical and Nelson Mandela is extremely impatient with unpunctuality, regarding it as insulting to those you are dealing with.

When speaking of the extensive traveling he has undertaken since his release from prison, Nelson Mandela says: I was helped when preparing for my release by the biography of Pandit Nehru, who wrote of what happens when you leave jail. My daughter Zinzi says that she grew up without a father, who, when he returned, became a father of the nation. This has placed a great responsibility of my shoulders. And wherever I travel, I immediately begin to miss the familiar – the mine dumps, the colour and smell that is uniquely South African, and, above all, the people. I do not like to be away for any length of time. For me, there is no place like home.

Mandela accepted the Nobel Peace Prize as an accolade to all people who have worked for peace and stood against racism. It was as much an award to his person as it was to the ANC and all South Africa s people. In particular, he regards it as a tribute to the people of Norway who stood against apartheid while many in the world were silent.

We know it was Norway that provided resources for farming; thereby enabling us to grow food; resources for education and vocational training and the provision of accommodation over the years in exile. The reward for all this sacrifice will be the attainment of freedom and democracy in South Africa, in an open society which respects the rights of all individuals. That goal is now in sight, and we have to thank the people and governments of Norway and Sweden for the tremendous role they played.

Personal Tastes

Breakfast of plain porridge, with fresh fruit and fresh milk.

A favorite is the traditionally prepared meat of a freshly slaughtered sheep, and the delicacy Amarhewu (fermented corn-meal).

Saturday 11 June 2011 07:43

I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in a village near Umtata in the Transkei on the 18 July 1918. His father was the principal councilor to the Acting Paramount Chief of Thembuland. After his father s death, the young Rolihlahla became the Paramount Chief s ward to be groomed to assume high office. However, influenced by the cases that came before the Chief s court, he determined to become a lawyer. Hearing the elders stories of his ancestors valor during the wars of resistance in defence of their fatherland, he dreamed also of making his own contribution to the freedom struggle of his people.

After receiving a primary education at a local mission school, Nelson Mandela was sent to Healdtown, a Wesleyan secondary school of some repute where he matriculated. He then enrolled at the University College of Fort Hare for the Bachelor of Arts Degree where he was elected onto the Student’s Representative Council. He was suspended from college for joining in a protest boycott. He went to Johannesburg where he completed his BA by correspondence, took articles of clerkship and commenced study for his LLB. He entered politics in earnest while studying in Johannesburg by joining the African National Congress in 1942.

At the height of the Second World War a small group of young Africans, members of the African National Congress, banded together under the leadership of Anton Lembede. Among them were William Nkomo, Walter Sisulu, Oliver R. Tambo, Ashby P. Mda and Nelson Mandela. Starting out with 60 members, all of whom were residing around the Witwatersrand, these young people set themselves the formidable task of transforming the ANC into a mass movement, deriving its strength and motivation from the unlettered millions of working people in the towns and countryside, the peasants in the rural areas and the professionals.

Their chief contention was that the political tactics of the old guard’ leadership of the ANC, reared in the tradition of constitutionalism and polite petitioning of the government of the day, were proving inadequate to the tasks of national emancipation. In opposition to the old guard’, Lembede and his colleagues espoused a radical African Nationalism grounded in the principle of national self-determination. In September 1944 they came together to found the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL).

Mandela soon impressed his peers by his disciplined work and consistent effort and was elected to the Secretaryship of the Youth League in 1947. By painstaking work, campaigning at the grassroots and through its mouthpiece Inyaniso’ (Truth) the ANCYL was able to canvass support for its policies amongst the ANC membership. At the 1945 annual conference of the ANC, two of the League s leaders, Anton Lembede and Ashby Mda, were elected onto the National Executive Committee (NEC). Two years later another Youth League leader, Oliver R Tambo became a member of the NEC.

Spurred on by the victory of the National Party which won the 1948 all-White elections on the platform of Apartheid, at the 1949 annual conference, the Programme of Action, inspired by the Youth League, which advocated the weapons of boycott, strike, civil disobedience and non-co-operation was accepted as official ANC policy.

The Programme of Action had been drawn up by a sub-committee of the ANCYL composed of David Bopape, Ashby Mda, Nelson Mandela, James Njongwe, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo. To ensure its implementation the membership replaced older leaders with a number of younger men. Walter Sisulu, a founding member of the Youth League was elected Secretary-General. The conservative Dr A.B. Xuma lost the presidency to Dr J.S. Moroka, a man with a reputation for greater militancy. The following year, 1950, Mandela himself was elected to the NEC at national conference.

The ANCYL programme aimed at the attainment of full citizenship, direct parliamentary representation for all South Africans. In policy documents of which Mandela was an important co-author, the ANCYL paid special attention to the redistribution of the land, trade union rights, education and culture. The ANCYL aspired to free and compulsory education for all children, as well as mass education for adults.

When the ANC launched its Campaign for the Defiance of Unjust Laws in 1952, Mandela was elected National Volunteer-in-Chief. The Defiance Campaign was conceived as a mass civil disobedience campaign that would snowball from a core of selected volunteers to involved more and more ordinary people, culminating in mass defiance. Fulfilling his responsibility as Volunteer-in-Chief, Mandela traveled the country organizing resistance to discriminatory legislation. Charged and brought to trial for his role in the campaign, the court found that Mandela and his co-accused had consistently advised their followers to adopt a peaceful course of action and to avoid all violence.

For his part in the Defiance Campaign, Mandela was convicted of contravening the Suppression of Communism Act and given a suspended prison sentence. Shortly after the campaign ended, he was also prohibited from attending gatherings and confined to Johannesburg for six months.

During this period of restrictions, Mandela wrote the attorneys admission examination and was admitted to the profession. He opened a practice in Johannesburg, in partnership with Oliver Tambo. In recognition of his outstanding contribution during the Defiance Campaign Mandela had been elected to the presidency of both the Youth League and the Transvaal region of the ANC at the end of 1952, he thus became a deputy president of the ANC itself.

Of their law practice, Oliver Tambo, ANC National Chairman at the time of his death in April 1993, has written:

To reach our desks each morning Nelson and I ran the gauntlet of patient queues of people overflowing from the chairs in the waiting room into the corridors… To be landless (in South Africa) can be a crime, and weekly we interviewed the delegations of peasants who came to tell us how many generations their families had worked a little piece of land from which they were now being ejected… To live in the wrong area can be a crime… Our buff office files carried thousands of these stories and if, when we started our law partnership, we had not been rebels against apartheid, our experiences in our offices would have remedied the deficiency. We had risen to professional status in our community, but every case in court, every visit to the prisons to interview clients, reminded us of the humiliation and suffering burning into our people.

Nor did their professional status earn Mandela and Tambo any personal immunity from the brutal apartheid laws. They fell foul of the land segregation legislation, and the authorities demanded that they move their practice from the city to the back of beyond, as Mandela later put it, miles away from where clients could reach us during working hours. This was tantamount to asking us to abandon our legal practice, to give up the legal service of our people… No attorney worth his salt would easily agree to do that, said Mandela and the partnership resolved to defy the law.

Nor was the government alone in trying to frustrate Mandela s legal practice. On the grounds of his conviction under the Suppression of Communism Act, the Transvaal Law Society petitioned the Supreme Court to strike him off the roll of attorneys. The petition was refused with Mr. Justice Ramsbottom finding that Mandela had been moved by a desire to serve his black fellow citizens and nothing he had done showed him to be unworthy to remain in the ranks of an honorable profession.

In 1952 Nelson Mandela was given the responsibility to prepare an organizational plan that would enable the leadership of the movement to maintain dynamic contact with its membership without recourse to public meetings. The objective was to prepare for the contingency of proscription by building up powerful local and regional branches to whom power could be devolved. This was the M-Plan, named after him.

During the early fifties Mandela played an important part in leading the resistance to the Western Areas removals and to the introduction of Bantu Education. He also played a significant role in popularizing the Freedom Charter, adopted by the Congress of the People in 1955.

In the late fifties, Mandela s attention turned to the struggles against the exploitation of labor, the pass laws, the nascent Bantustan policy, and the segregation of the open universities. Mandela arrived at the conclusion very early on that the Bantustan policy was a political swindle and an economic absurdity. He predicted, with dismal prescience, that ahead there lay a grim programme of mass evictions, political persecutions, and police terror. On the segregation of the universities, Mandela observed that the friendship and inter-racial harmony that is forged through the admixture and association of various racial groups at the mixed universities constitute a direct threat to the policy of apartheid and baasskap, and that it was to remove that threat that the open universities were being closed to black students.

During the whole of the fifties, Mandela was the victim of various forms of repression. He was banned, arrested and imprisoned. For much of the latter half of the decade, he was one of the accused in the mammoth Treason Trial, at great cost to his legal practice and his political work. After the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960, the ANC was outlawed, and Mandela, still on trial, was detained.

The Treason Trial collapsed in 1961 as South Africa was being steered towards the adoption of the republic constitution. With the ANC now illegal the leadership picked up the threads from its underground headquarters. Nelson Mandela emerged at this time as the leading figure in this new phase of struggle. Under the ANC’s inspiration, 1,400 delegates came together at an All-in African Conference in Pietermaritzburg during March 1961. Mandela was the keynote speaker. In an electrifying address he challenged the apartheid regime to convene a national convention, representative of all South Africans to thrash out a new constitution based on democratic principles. Failure to comply, he warned, would compel the majority (Blacks) to observe the forthcoming inauguration of the Republic with a mass general strike. He immediately went underground to lead the campaign. Although fewer answered the call than Mandela had hoped, it attracted considerable support throughout the country. The government responded with the largest military mobilization since the war, and the Republic was born in an atmosphere of fear and apprehension.

Forced to live apart from his family, moving from place to place to evade detection by the government s ubiquitous informers and police spies, Mandela had to adopt a number of disguises. Sometimes dressed as a common laborer, at other times as a chauffeur, his successful evasion of the police earned him the title of the Black Pimpernel. It was during this time that he, together with other leaders of the ANC constituted a new specialized section of the liberation movement, Umkhonto we Sizwe, as an armed nucleus with a view to preparing for armed struggle. At the Rivonia trial, Mandela explained : “At the beginning of June 1961, after long and anxious assessment of the South African situation, I and some colleagues came to the conclusion that as violence in this country was inevitable, it would be wrong and unrealistic for African leaders to continue preaching peace and non-violence at a time when the government met our peaceful demands with force.

It was only when all else had failed, when all channels of peaceful protest had been barred to us, that the decision was made to embark on violent forms of political struggle, and to form Umkhonto we Sizwe…the Government had left us no other choice.”

In 1961 Umkhonto we Sizwe was formed, with Mandela as its commander-in-chief. In 1962 Mandela left the country unlawfully and traveled abroad for several months. In Ethiopia he addressed the Conference of the Pan African Freedom Movement of East and Central Africa, and was warmly received by senior political leaders in several countries. During this trip Mandela, anticipating an intensification of the armed struggle, began to arrange guerrilla training for members of Umkhonto we Sizwe.

Not long after his return to South Africa Mandela was arrested and charged with illegal exit from the country, and incitement to strike.

Since he considered the prosecution a trial of the aspirations of the African people, Mandela decided to conduct his own defence. He applied for the recusal of the magistrate, on the ground that in such a prosecution a judiciary controlled entirely by whites was an interested party and therefore could not be impartial, and on the ground that he owed no duty to obey the laws of a white parliament, in which he was not represented.

Mandela prefaced this challenge with the affirmation: I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man.

Mandela was convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment. While serving his sentence he was charged, in the Rivonia Trial, with sabotage. Mandela s statements in court during these trials are classics in the history of the resistance to apartheid, and they have been an inspiration to all who have opposed it. His statement from the dock in the Rivonia Trial ends with these words:

I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment and started his prison years in the notorious Robben Island Prison, a maximum security prison on a small island 7Km off the coast near Cape Town. In April 1984 he was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town and in December 1988 he was moved the Victor Verster Prison near Paarl from where he was eventually released. While in prison, Mandela flatly rejected offers made by his jailers for remission of sentence in exchange for accepting the Bantustan policy by recognizing the independence of the Transkei and agreeing to settle there. Again in the ‘eighties Mandela rejected an offer of release on condition that he renounce violence. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Only free men can negotiate, he said.

Released on 11 February 1990, Mandela plunged wholeheartedly into his life’s work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after being banned for decades, Nelson Mandela was elected President of the ANC while his lifelong friend and colleague, Oliver Tambo, became the organization’s National Chairperson.

Nelson Mandela has never wavered in his devotion to democracy, equality and learning. Despite terrible provocation, he has never answered racism with racism. His life has been an inspiration, in South Africa and throughout the world, to all who are oppressed and deprived, to all who are opposed to oppression and deprivation.

In a life that symbolizes the triumph of the human spirit over man s inhumanity to man, Nelson Mandela accepted the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of all South Africans who suffered and sacrificed so much to bring peace to our land.

Outline of planned events around July 18, 2011
8 June 2011, 10:59 AM

To read a list of all the events planned around Mandela Day published by the Mandela Foundation click here.
Mandela Day is an annual celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life and a
global call to action for people to recognise their individual power to
make an imprint and change the world around them.

A global movement for positive change begins with small actions. As
each person acts, they fuel momentum toward positive change, raising
awareness and expanding the reach of Mr Mandela’s values – fighting
injustice, helping people in need and practicing reconciliation.

In his State of the Nation Address on 3 June 2009, President Jacob Zuma said: “An
international campaign has been initiated by the Nelson Mandela
Foundation and related organisations, called Mandela Day, which sums up
what Tata stands for.

Wednesday 8 June 2011 10:59

Madiba was politically active for 67 years, and on Mandela Day people all over the world, in the workplace, at home and in schools, will be called upon to spend at least 67 minutes of their time doing something useful within their communities

Mandela Day will be celebrated on
the 18th of July each year. It will give people in South Africa and all
over the world the opportunity to do something good to help others.
was politically active for 67 years, and on Mandela Day people all over
the world, in the workplace, at home and in schools, will be called
upon to spend at least 67 minutes of their time doing something useful
within their communities, especially among the less fortunate.
Let us wholeheartedly support Mandela Day and encourage the world to join us in this wonderful campaign. ”
on 1 July 2009 endorsed the call to declare 18 July as global Mandela
Day. Cabinet calls on all South Africans, civil society organisations
and the citizens of the world to support the Mandela Day initiative by
doing good in their communities.
It is important to note that Mandela Day will not be a public holiday.

Historic moments
10 May 2011, 3:42 PM

Nelson Mandela turns 93 on July 18, 2011. We salute him and pay tribute to his life. And remember all his wise words.

“We saw our country tear itself apart in terrible conflict … The time
for healing of wounds has come … Never, never again will this
beautiful land experience the oppression of one by another.”

Tuesday 10 May 2011 15:42

Mandela’s inaugural address May 10, 1994

Mandela released from prison after 27 years on February 11, 1990.

Biography Channel looks back at the life of Nelson Mandela

21 May, 1961

Nelson Mandela, already a leading figure in resistance
to apartheid, was asked by ITN’s Brian Widlake, for his views about the
campaign to secure the franchise for South Africa’s black population.



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