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Brief look at his Presidential tenure
14 June 2011, 3:38 PM

He saw sport as critical to reconciliation

He saw media as a frontier of transformation

A democratic constitution was established

A comprehensive bill of rights was also established

The TRC was established

A battery of progressive legislation was also introduced under the auspices of the Reconstruction and Development Programme which aimed to address poverty, restore the dignity of citizens and allow for the creation of a unified national identity through a focus on meeting basic needs, building the economy and democratizing the state

Tuesday 14 June 2011 15:38

He emphasized that the press needed to be the mirror through which society could see itself

He supported free press especially at a time when it was being threatened all over Africa. He said: “A critical independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of democracy” (Mandela, Authorized Biography)

He emphasized that the press needed to be the mirror through which society could see itself

He often said disputes must be settled with brains, not blood

He set direction for and priorities of South African diplomacy. He said: “South Africa’s future foreign relations will be based on our belief that human rights should be the core of international relations, and we are ready to play a role in fostering peace and prosperity in the world (source: Foreign Affairs, an American journal)

He saw himself with a moral mission to spread peace and tolerance around the world

He gave confidence to black South Africans as a people who had been conditioned into submission by the apartheid regime

He was totally committed to democracy

He wanted to use parliament to consolidate a non-racial democracy and was concerned that the government of national unity didn’t go down to the grassroots

His most important task was to approve a new constitution

He always considered that he had to balance things out (pacifying the white elite without alienating black masses)

As Head of State he saw a clear priority: to consolidate a new nation to hold it together and to transform it into a multi-racial democracy.

Timeline of his life
14 June 2011, 3:28 PM

1918, 18 July

Born at Mvezo in the Transkei


Attends primary school near Qunu. Teacher wants all children to have a Christian name so gives him the name ‘Nelson’


Entrusted to Nkosi Jongintaba Dalindyebo, the acting Regent of the Thembu people at the Great Place at Mqhekezweni


Undergoes initiation; Goes to Clarkebury Boarding Institute in Engcobo


Goes to Healdtown, the Wesleyan College at Fort Beaufort


Enrolls at the University College of Fort Hare, in Alice




Escapes an arranged marriage, becomes a mine night watchman in Johannesburg; Lives in Alexandra. Starts articles at the law firm Witkin, Sidelsky & Eidelman


Completes BA through the University of South Africa (UNISA). Writes the exams at Fort Hare


Enrolls for an LLB at Wits University; Graduates with a BA at Fort Hare


Co-founds the ANC Youth League (ANCYL); Marries Evelyn Ntoko Mase – they have four children: Thembekile (1945); Makaziwe (1947 – who dies after nine months); Makgatho (1950); Makaziwe (1954)


Elected national secretary of the ANCYL


Elected President of the ANCYL


Defiance Campaign begins. Mandela is arrested; Elected Transvaal ANC President; Arrested for violating the Suppression of Communism Act; Opens own law office; Convicted with J S Moroka, Walter Sisulu and 17 others under the Suppression of Communism Act; Sentenced to nine months imprisonment with hard labour, suspended for two years; Qualifies with a diploma allowing him to work as an attorney and is employed by law firm HM Basner; Elected the first of two ANC deputy presidents; Opens South Africa’s first black law firm with Oliver Tambo


Devises the M-Plan for the ANC’s future underground operations


Watches as the Congress of the People at Kliptown launches the Freedom Charter


Arrested and joins 155 others on trial for Treason. The trial lasts four-and-a-half years


Divorces Evelyn Mase; Marries Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela – they have two daughters: Zenani (1959) and Zindziswa (1960)


A state of emergency is imposed after the Sharpeville Massacre. Mandela is amongst thousands detained. The ANC is banned


Goes underground after he and 29 remaining accused in the Treason Trial are acquitted; Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) formed


In January he leaves the country for military training;

In July he returns to South Africa via Botswana and drives to Liilesleaf Farm in Rivonia

He travels to KwaZulu-Natal to report back to ANC President Chief Albert Luthuli and other comrades

He is arrested near Howick, KwaZulu-Natal on 5 August

On 7 November he is sentenced to five years for incitement and leaving the country illegally and assigned the prisoner number 19476/62


He is sent to Robben Island in May, brought back to Pretoria after two weeks

In October he is charged with sabotage with nine others in what becomes known as the Rivonia Trial. The other co-accused are: Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada, Raymond Mhlaba, Denis Goldberg, Elias Motsoaledi, Rusty Bernstein, Andrew Mlangeni, James Kantor


On 20 April, he makes his famous speech from the dock in which he says he is “prepared to die” for a democratic South Africa

On 11 June, all except Bernstein and Kantor are convicted

On 12 June, Mandela and seven others are sentenced to life imprisonment and all, except Goldberg, are sent to Robben Island to serve their sentences. Goldberg, as the only white person convicted in the trial, is held in Pretoria Central Prison. Mandela is assigned the prisoner number 466/64


Mandela’s mother, Fanny Nosekeni, dies


Thembekile killed in a car accident


Mandela, Sisulu, Mhlaba and Mlangeni and later Kathrada sent to Pollsmoor Prison


Rejects P W Botha offers to release him if he renounces violence; Prostate surgery

1988, August

Contracts TB and is admitted to Tygerberg Hospital for six weeks; (December): Admitted to Constantiaberg MediClinic. December: Moved to Victor Verster Prison

Tuesday 14 June 2011 15:28

2002, Launches global HIV AIDS campaign 46664

1990, 11 February



Elected ANC President


Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with FW De Klerk

1994, 27 April

Votes for the first time in his life; Elected as first president of a democratic South Africa (9 May); Inaugurated as President (10 May)


Establishes the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund


Divorces Winnie Mandela

People of Howick conferred the Honorary Freedom of the town on President Mandela.

1998, 18 July

Marries Graca Machel on his 80th birthday


Steps down after one term as president; establishes the Nelson Mandela Foundation


Diagnosed with prostate cancer


Launches global HIV AIDS campaign 46664


Establishment of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation

2004, 2 June

Announces that he will be stepping down from public life

2005, 6 June

Makgatho dies. Mandela announces that he died of an AIDS-related illness


Centre of Memory and Dialogue approved as the core work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation


Grandson Mandlesizwe Mandela invested as Nkosi Zwelivelile of Mvezo; inauguration of the Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development


Turns 90 years old, asks the emerging generation to continue the fight for social justice


Attends the inauguration of South Africa’s fourth democratically elected president Jacob Zuma; Turns 91; receives copies of the children’s version of his autobiography from his great-grandson Ziyanda Manaway


Attends a reunion gathering at his home in Johannesburg to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his release from prison;(June) attends the funeral of his great-granddaughter Zenani, 13, who was killed in a car accident; (July) makes a surprise appearance of the final match of the Fifa World Cup at Soccer City in Soweto


27 January

Illness in 2011 (routine tests)

The media has been abuzz, and South Africa in consternation, with the news of former president Nelson Mandela’s deteriorating health. Archbishop Desmond Tutu recently said he had been to visit the former statesman and found him to be frail as he is old (92-years-old).

On 26 January, Sello Hatang, spokesperson for the Nelson Mandela Foundation, released a statement saying that Mandela had been admitted to Milpark Hospital, Johannesburg, for routine tests, was fine and in good spirits. This followed reports with more speculation on Mandela’s reasons for his hospital admission.

Also on 26 January, The Star newspaper reported that Mandela was seen by a pulmonologist. Professor Michael Plit, a pulmonologist (dealing with respiratory disease issues) and also the former President’s personal physician at Milpark Hospital, confirmed to the paper that he’d seen Mandela on 25 January. However, he would not give any further information.

On the National Asthma Education Programme website, Plit describes his medical interests as obstructive lung diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Mandela’s personal assistant Zelda Le Grange arrived at the hospital around 9am on Thursday 27 January 2011. Photographers surrounded her car as she was ushered into the hospital by security guards. Police tightened security at the hospital and kept out scores of journalists, photographers and cameramen, who were left to wait in the street leading up to the hospital. Traffic was backed up as officials searched vehicles for cameras. ANC officials were planning to visit the former president some time on Thursday, E-news reported.

When asked for confirmation by Sapa, ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said the matter was between the ANC, the hospital and the family. Various family members, Mandela’s wife Graca Machel, his eldest grandson chief Mandla Mandela, daughter Zindzi, and a number of grand- and great-grandchildren visited him on Wednesday 25 January, The Star reported. The Business Day reported Mandela’s former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and his former personal assistant Jessie Duarte also visited the hospital. A black Mercedes-Benz with a Cape Town registration, was seen arriving at the hospital on Thursday morning. Security guards were overheard saying “they VIP”. One man, an avid fan of Madikizela-Mandela, was at the hospital on Thursday hoping to speak to his long-time idol. He was at the hospital on Wednesday quizzing journalists and dropping names of ANC heavyweights in a bid to get more information.

Beeld newspaper reported that it appeared Mandela was in the hospital’s private unit for burn victims. The unit’s windows were covered to ensure privacy and only one person was allowed in at a time. CNN reported on Wednesday night that Mandela was flown from Cape Town to Milpark Hospital and brought to the hospital by military ambulance. Hospital spokeswoman Erin Walsh would not comment.”It is our policy to respect patients and we would not give any details about the admission to anyone expect the family,” she said. The Star reported that a Facebook post by Mandela’s granddaughter, Zoleka Mandela, read: “I really hate to see you this way. It kills me each time. Know that i’m here for you as I believe you have always been there for me. You are never alone in this. We are all with you each and every step of the way. All you need to do is remember that you us at your back (sic) and call. I love you. You already know this. Spending my next few days with you just so I know that you’ll be ok! I’m saddened… .” The Foundation issued a brief statement just after 4pm on Wednesday reading: “We can confirm that Mr Mandela is at Milpark Hospital undergoing routine tests. He is in no danger and is in good spirits.”There had been no further word from the Foundation by 9.30am on Thursday.

Mandela is currently convalescing at home.

Hospitalisation and home-based care




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Mandela is admitted twice to hospital and receives home-based
care in between. He spends 18 days in hospital in December for a lung infection
and surgery to remove gallstones before he 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.



Fight for Mandela’s

The Star newspaper reports that the children of Nelson
Mandela have launched a court case against several business associates of the
former president in a dispute over the control of two companies.

According to the newspaper the case was filed in the
Johannesburg High Court by Mandela’s daughters, Makaziwe and Zenani.

The court papers reportedly said lawyers George Bizos and
Bally Chuene, and businessman Tokyo Sexwale, had no right to remain as
directors of companies whose main purpose was to channel funds from the sale of
94-year-old Nelson Mandela’s handprints.

Later, Prominent lawyer George Bizos labelled a suit against
him and his colleagues by Nelson Mandela’s daughters as a ploy to “resuscitate”
the sale of the artworks.

Bizos accused Ayob of paying R150 000 each into Zenani and
Makaziwe’s accounts from a Mandela trust account without his authorisation.

He told The Star that Ayob was later ordered to pay back the
money from his own pocket.

ANC, SABC criticised
for Mandela video footage broadcast

The SABC broadcast a video of former President, Nelson
Mandela at his home in Houghton. The video showed Mandela in an armchair, his
head propped up by a pillow, his legs on a footrest and covered by a blanket.

Social media and talk radio shows buzzed with angry comments
that the party had been disrespectful by showing footage of the 94-year-old
anti-apartheid icon looking vacant, grey-skinned and unsmiling.

Spokesman Jackson Mthembu said it didn’t make sense to say
South Africa’s governing party was using the occasion as an electioneering tool
as it gears up for elections next year.

Mthembu said the party would also have been criticized if it
had not broadcast the video.


The nation holds its
breath as Mandela’s condition slides from serious to critical

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 days.”

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

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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Facebook tributes – 2011
14 June 2011, 3:21 PM

June 14, 2011 – SABCNews online facebook tributes

Howard LoabileWhat a true hero…madiba u make me feel black,green & yellow.

Matome Wa Moloks

Siyabonga Khukhaphi
What a true hero, Madiba u make me feel black.

Cherisse Swanepoel
Make it a holiday

Happy Colile
M proud of u Tata!2day m free n hw can I 4get u!LONG LIVE!

Thato Nabile
U r ryt Cherisse,wish i cud b able 2 do more than 1 likes.

Gontse Mpshe
A true hero indeed, but it is sad that what he fought for and others today those who are in power do not really fulfill the paramount objectives of the state (freedom charter)

Mabe Kabelo
Nothing hectic plz da poor man is tierd he needz a rest

Londiwe Mkhwanazi
Let him enjoy his birthday with his family quietly. Nothing 2 overwhelming 4 him. 1 thing 4 sure he’s an icon, hero, and very very brave. Don’t think I wud hv bin able 2 4give after spending so many yrs in prison. I salute u Tata.

Mandela Day Facebook page:
June 13, 2011

Mbuyiseni Fana Mdlalose
“If many opportunists are using Mandela’s name, during his lifetime, what more will happen when Madiba lives us to heaven. Surely he will have more spokespersons who would be saying that Mandela said: “1, 2, and 3… to me during our conversation on 1, 2, 3…” This is the danger that we must avoid right now.” Extract from the book titled: WRITING HAPHAZARDLY: The skeleton of my long walk to the freedom of truth!

Amina Mohammed
Keep well madiba you are in our hearts and mind every second of every day from Mitchells Plain you are my hero love you

Ross Itzhak Von SteirnBerg
Nelson Mandela the most inspirational man to ever live MADIBA ! :D? much love South Africa From Scotland 🙂

June 12, 2011

Verna George-Jones
why has Tata Madiba not been knighted by the Queen???

Nelson Ekechi
May ur dayz be long

June 11, 2011

Olwethu Thanana’s Tyelo
Wow tata i was so touched by ur mesg 4 mama albertina sisulu…viva tata viva

Thulas Aletta Bokaba
I love tata…

Peter Shula
Mandela day, yeah!!

Vuyisile Nkwinti
U are my God Madiba i wsh Juses can look aftr u

Magnia Boyo
Nelson Mandela-by Golden Boy on itunes

June 9, 2011

Simple Minds – Mandela Day

June 8, 2011

Tsholofelo Moeketsi
tata wethu

The Ubuntu Girl
Viva Mandela Day! Wow, its soon soon…… better start thinking of what we are going to do on this special day 😉

June 6, 2011

Johannesburg City Parks
Mandela Day 18 July 2011 come plant trees with us for 67 minutes

Vash Vanishree Govindasamy
people will be encouraged to mark Mandela Mondays by doing something worthy for the next individual, the community or the environment in which they live. People could take as little as five minutes out of their lives for this activity.

Noxolo Cynthia Mandela

Crispin Matthews
i had the privilidge to meet Mr Mandela and would like to find out if someone knows how i can get my photo taken with him in 1995 signed by this great man?

Raymand Good
Free Site .Long Live Nelson Mandela He has been such a kind smart man Respected by the world it is always good to have people to look up to .South Africa Is a beter place because of Nelson Mandela

Emiliano Hamma
S.O.S ATOMIC ENERGY – everything under CONTROL…

Gee Salukazana
DLOMO omhle we salute u… God will keep n protect

Please share your tributes with us on our facebook page and/or the Mandela Day facebook page.

Tuesday 14 June 2011 15:21

A poem sent by Faith Fungayi
Chimanda, 38, from Zimbabwe




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drained you

Your youth to all as sacrifice for

I have seen you so many times
through the eyes of others

I know all you have done through
eyes of others

As perfect as a human can be

Once strong in spirit , now your
strength lies in your achievement

acknowledge your exemplary life

I acknowledge life beyond one’s

I respect
your legacy

As perfect as a human can be

Father to
your nation

Father to mine and the world

You fed your world with your

happiness forever shaped by it

For once you sacrificed all

The world
is proud of you

Life as
God must have meant it to be

A meaningful journey we admire

meaningful life well spent

For once you sacrificed all

learnt by deed of note

Lessons not
by mouth related

They will write, they will talk

For once
you sacrificed all
As perfect as a human can be.

Interesting facts
14 June 2011, 11:04 AM

Mandela’s birth name Rolihlahla means, “to pull a branch of a tree” or “troublemaker”. Mandela is named Rolihlahla at birth, given the Western name Nelson at seven years old by his schoolteacher, then given the name Dalibunga at age 16 after his initiation, and often referred to as Madiba (the name of his clan) out ofrespect.

His father’s name was Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa and his mother’s name Fanny Nosekeni.

He is the youngest son of his father’s four wives, and the only surviving son

Often he said he was a country boy

He loved to whistle

Sidney Poitier played Nelson Mandela in the 1997 film “Mandela and De Klerk”

Morgan Freeman played Mandela in the film, Invictus, released in 2009

On 12 June 1964 he was sentenced to prison (Robben Island)

On 11 February 1990 he was released from prison

He hadn’t hear of the ANC until he got to Fort Hare

He liked ballroom dancing, first introduced to him at Fort Hare University, Alice, Eastern Cape

He met Oliver Tambo at Fort Hare for the first time

As students at Fort Hare, he and other students used to sneak out to a farm to roast mealies. He said he yearned for

simple pleasures

He was expelled from Fort Hare

He was 23 years old when he arrived in Jhb

He loved traditional foods from the Eastern Cape – e.g. amasi from a calabash and would not go to a shop to buy it from

a box.

He enjoyed relaxing at home, reading quietly and also enjoyed the smell of cooking emanating from pots

He loved picnics in the 1950s

He always used to invite people to his home without prior warning to Winnie

He always wanted to explore culture of others by way of their foods

Winnie learnt to cook curry early in their marriage because he had seemed to enjoy it on their first date

While in prison, Mandela wrote a letter to Ismail Meer, Fatima Meer’s husband, thanking him for teaching him to eat

and enjoy curry

Tuesday 14 June 2011 11:04

Prisoners were given permission to establish a garden. This gave Madiba a small taste of freedom as he was custodian of a small peace of land

George Bizos recalled that he, Mandela and Tambo occasionally worked together, and when they went out, they had to

eat in a car. They couldn’t be seen eating together in public

Joe Matthews observed that he was always good to his children

Imprisonment: Mandela was arrested on several occasions and stood trial four times.

On 30 July 1952, he and 19 others were arrested for his role in the Defiance Campaign and stood trial in

September 1952. He and the 19 others were found guilty on 2 December for ‘statutory Communism’ – which the

apartheid regime used to define people who opposed its laws. Their sentence was nine months in jail with hard labour,

suspended for five years.

On 5 December 1956 he and others were arrested on charges of High Treason. They were released on bail about two

weeks later. At the end of the four-and-a-half year trial, charges were withdrawn against all the accused. On 29 March

1961 he and 28 colleagues were found to be innocent of the charges laid against them.

During the Treason Trial the African National Congress was outlawed and Mr Mandela began operating secretly after

the end of the trial. Later that year, Umkhonto weSizwe, the armed wing of the ANC, was formed. Mr Mandela left the

country at the beginning of 1962 for military training and to gather support for the ANC. He was arrested in South Africa

on 5 August 1962 and charged with inciting people to strike and for leaving the country without a passport. He was

convicted and on 7 November 1962 he was sentenced to five years in jail. He was sent to Robben Island Maximum

Security Prison in May 1963. But in July 1963 he was brought to Pretoria to stand trial for sabotage in what became

known as the Rivonia Trial, most of the accused were arrested at a farm in a suburb of Johannesburg called Rivonia.

That trial started in October 1963 and on 12 June 1964, eight of the nine accused were convicted of sabotage.

The next day they were sentenced to life imprisonment.

He was imprisoned on section B of Robben Island

In 1978 section B prisoners were given permission to establish a garden. This gave Madiba a small taste of freedom as

he was a custodian of this patch of land .

The garden was a source of emotional support and it became a vital source of the conception of his biography

Long Walk to Freedom

He started writing the Long Walk to Freedom at night while on Robben Island. He gave it to Walter Sisulu for comment.

The original version of the Long Walk to Freedom was buried in empty cocoa tins in the Robben Island garden. But this

was discovered when a new wall was constructed around the garden

His prison number was 46664 — representing that he is the 466th prisoner on Robben Island in 1964

In 1973 Mandela was removed from the hard labour of the quarry

He then collected seaweed on the island’s coast – sold to Japan as fertilizer – where he also ate well

He discovered he shared a birthday with judge Fikile Bam who was also imprisoned

Mandela would give Bam biscuits and chocolates

Mosiuoa Lekota and Tokyo Sexwale used to go into Mandela’s cell to look for biscuits

Mandela and fellow comrades used food, real and imagined, to reflect their hunger for freedom

He was dubbed the black pimpernel by the media – he was on the run from the police and had been organising rallies to

stop apartheid

Prison diet was racialised. Indian and coloured prisoners’ diet was better than that of Africans, who were placed on the

F diet. The F diet constituted the following: Breakfast (porridge and 1 spoon of sugar; two for coloureds and Indians);

Lunch (porridge or boiled mealies and a yeast drink known as phuzamandla); Dinner (porridge and a mug of thin soup

In January 1985, Mandela went on his first secret day trip out of Pollsmoor

On 24 December he was taken by Col Gawie Marx on a drive around the Cape Peninsula. Gawie and his son left him in

an unlocked car while they went to buy coca-cola. Mandela later said he had been tempted to run, but soon thought it

might have been a set up

He moved to Victor Verster in 1988 – his new home was four-roomed with a stove, microwave, fridge, deep freeze,

toaster and a personal chef, Jack Swart

On 4 February 1990, De Klerk announced Mandela’s release and the unbanning of the ANC, PAC and SACP

On 11 February 1990, Mandela was released from Victor Verster with Winnie’s hand in his as they exited the gates


Mandela later said he felt his life was beginning anew at that moment

Mandela’s first address after 27 years was at the Cape Town City Hall

He spent his first night as a free man at Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s Bishop’s court home

That night he ate chicken curry, rice and green salad. For desert he had rum and raisin ice cream and custard,

Tutu’s favourite. The meal was prepared by Tutu’s helpers, Mrs Nakani and Lilian Ngoboza. After the meal Mandela went to thank the ladies and told them he had enjoyed their curry very much

He spent his second night as a free man in Jhb at Sally Rowney’s home, which was close to the airport.

Rowney was surprised that Mandela had woken up hours before, made his bed and had had cereal

His third night as a free man was spent at no 8115 Ngakane Street, Orlando West – his home. Mandela wrote of that e

xperience: “It was only then that I knew in my heart that I had left prison. For me 8115 Ngakane was the centre point of my world, the place marked with an X in my mental geography.”

The Mandelas had a difficult time adjusting to one another as a family, especially as there were constantly visitors

Zindzi said it took a long time for her family to connect and get used to one another

When he came out of prison, Mandela’s children said to him: “We thought we had a father and one day he’d come back.

To our dismay, our father has become the father of the nation.” He further said: “To be the father of a nation is a great

honour, but to be the father of a family is a greater joy. But it was a joy I had far too little of.”

Robben Island was closed in 1991

Robben Island became a museum in 1999

He was an avid boxer and would train several times a week at the Donaldson Orlando Community Centre (DOCC) in


He was inaugurated as South Africa’s first democratically elected president on 10 May 1994

He was always punctual for meetings

Mandela holds honorary degrees from more than 50 universities around the world

66 streets; 36 buildings (including halls); 21 stadiums, gardens, squares and parks; 26 schools and educations

institutions around the world have been named after Mandela. These include the Nelson Mandela Ornamental Garden

in Yorkshire, UK; Nelson Mandela Platz in Germany; and the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality in the Eastern Cape

He hated working with bureaucracies and disliked paperwork

He was a very simple and gentle man (Graca observed)

He always resented being patronised and was most upset when he felt his dignity was offended

At 76, when he became president, his doctors agreed that his vitality and energy were like those of a man twenty years


According to Graca Mache, Mandela could love very deeply and did well to conceal his emotions in public

Mandela married Graca on 18 July 1998, on his 80th birthday

Bishop Mvume Dandala (former COPE parliamentary leader) married them

He often said disputes must be settled with brains, not blood

He liked to say: ‘I’m no angel’

An entire family of sea slugs, Mandeliidae, has been named after Mandela by two US marine biologists, including the species Mandelia mrocornata, which live only in the waters around the Cape Peninsula

A type of tree in Colombia; an orchid in Singapore and a type of tea in the US were named in Mandela’s honour

Two types of spider, including a trapdoor spider called Stasimopus mandelai, also bear the name

An elusive, fundamental particle of the atom was called ‘Mandela Particle’ by physicists who discovered it at Leeds


A Venezuelan music group calls itself Danzas Mandela

A bar in Bristol, UK, a café in Copenhagen, Sweden, and a bistro in Brooklyn, New York in the US, have all been named

after Mandela

He was totally committed to democracy

He first ate a buttered scone at Clarkebury in 1934 – Mrs. Harris, the wife of the headmaster there, had made it

He underwent ulwaluko in 1935 at age 16

He is 1,94 metres tall

Mandela was inaugurated as President of South Africa on 10 May 1994

In 1994 the South African Post Office honoured him by issuing a special stamp to mark Mandela’s presidential

inauguration. This stamp remains the best-selling item in Post Office history

Soon after he took office, Afrikaner secretaries and servants became loyal to him as he also made a point to remember

their names and also their families

At his residence in Pretoria, Mandela amazed the staff and servants by shaking hands and chatting with all of them,

including the gardeners

De Klerk noted that Mandela had a special ability to make every person who came in contact with him feel special

Mandela also became friendly with his Afrikaner bodyguards and they in turn became loyal to him

He often got up at 4:30 and made his own bed. He walked around the grounds before breakfast

His physique and stamina amazed doctors who always urged him to slow down

He had a problem with his eyes, which an eye operation in 1994 did not cure. Photographers were forbidden to use

flashlight when photographing

In March 1995 he received Queen Elizabeth II

He felt more pain from his knee, which had not recovered from his fall on Robben Island. Eventually he could not walk

upstairs without help

As president he would greet visitors by springing up from his armchair or from behind his desk, looking them in the eye,

remembering where they came from, recalling mutual friends

His style was always homely and earthy. He had an open smile

He made dramatic entrance, often already welcoming a guest as he walked into the room, creating immediate rapport

He never seemed to lose his courtesy or self discipline. But despite courtesies, his secretaries knew that he could be

moody and dejected

One sculptor who had portrayed many world leaders spent hours watching Mandela’s expression. He found him

uniquely charismatic, but also uniquely hard to represent: in company he lit up with every visitor, but by himself he

would suddenly look exhausted

His personal feelings seemed to have been subsumed by his political life and he related to people more closely

He loved long-distance telephone calls and would often surprise friends, sometimes waking them up early in the morning

In 1995 Mandela began formal divorce proceedings from Winnie

His house in Qunu was built

In March 1996 he appeared in the Rand Supreme Court, to plead for his divorce. This was a rare public display of his

painful private live at the time. He said he had delayed the divorce because he didn’t want it linked to the Stompie

Seipei murder

He described his misery when Winnie would not share his bedroom while he was a awake. He declared he was the

loneliest man

He spent his weekends with un-political people and relished the undemanding company of show-business people

His home in Qunus modeled on the prison-house (at Victor Verster) where he spent his last year in jail. The house,

however, gives no hint of prison

About this home in Qunu Mandela said: “This is really home, where my roots are… It becomes more important, the

older you get, to return to places where you have wonderful recollections

While many of his colleagues worried that Mandela was never left alone, Walter Sisulu noticed that he was most at

ease when surrounded by people

Mandela loved being involved in tribal politics, settling local disputes about chickens or cows

He loved changing clothes and also loved tailored clothing

He could sometimes change sides dramatically: when trade unionists demonstrated angrily outside the President’s

office, in Cape Town he suddenly appeared among them, to the alarm of his cabinet colleagues

Queen Elizabeth II awarded him the Order of Merit, the most coveted British honour. She invited him to make a return

State visit. The Queen had then said to him: ‘You are of course well versed in making history, but I hope that, even for

you, it will be an important milestone’

A cabinet colleague once stated that Mandela, ‘like other great men, he is not afraid of simplicity: he is willing to be

unpretentiously simple, to see beyond the immediate future’

Mandela liked to say: ‘I’m only a country boy’

David Beresford of the guardian said Mandela’s greatness lay not in political or military skills, but in simple identification

with his country: a creating of the collective imagination, an expression of national identity deeply desired in a bitterly

divided country.’

He established the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund due to his love for children

He established the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 1999

The Mandela Rhodes Foundation was established in 2003

In 2007, the Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory and Dialogue to promote Mandela’s legacy was established

In 2007, Mandela announced the formation of the Global Elders – a group comprising former heads of state, Nobel

laureates, leading entrepreneurs and philanthropists who will “contribute their wisdom, independent leadership and

integrity to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems”

In 2008, Mandela was maintained a rating of between 7.2 and 8.2 out of 10 during the entire term of his presidency.

After retiring as president, his popularity continued to grow; and in July 2008 (on his 90th birthday) he scored an average rating of 9.3 out of 10, making him South Africa’s most beloved leader ever

He has received more than 1 115 awards and honours

On 29 August 2007, a statue of Mandela was unveiled in Parliament Square on, following a seven year campaign led by

Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London

More than 95 statues, sculptures, artworks and monuments have been given to, or dedicated to Mandela

More than 25 musical and theatre tributes have been referred to Mandela or have been dedicated to him

He has held more than 105 patronages

He has received more than 175 civic honours, freedoms of cities/towns, and honorary citizenships

He has received more than 375 awards

More than 115 honorary degrees have been conferred on him

More than eight student union honours and awards have been made to Mandela

More than 40 sports-related honours and awards have been given to him

More than 15 awards and events have been named after him

More than 19 bursaries, scholarships, and foundations have been named after him

More than 25 schools, universities, and other educational institutions have been named after him

More hand 35 halls, buildings, housing developments, structures have been named after him

More than 85 streets, roads, boulevards, avenues, bridges, highways have been named after him

The new Nelson Mandela R5 coin came into circulation on 18 July 2008 to coincide with the former President’s 90th

birthday – the coin featuring a smiling portrait of Mandela, wearing his signature pattern shirt, crowned the R5 bi-metal

coin which was first issued in 2004

On 15 July 2008 the South African Post Office unveiled unique domestic and small international Nelson Mandela stamps

to mark the former President’s 90th birthday

On 10 November 2009 the United Nations General Assembly declared July 18 “Nelson Mandela International Day” to

mark Mandela’s contribution to peace

In 2009 the former president became the first person to be honoured by football governing body Fifa for the

second time during his lifetime. “It has never happened and I do not think that it will ever happen again,” 2010 local

organising committee CEO Danny Jordaan said.

Presidential style and controversy
11 June 2011, 8:50 AM

Soon he established excellent relations with the white staff he had kept on. Afrikaner secretaries and servants became loyal to Mandela as he also made a point to remember their names and also their families. At Tuynhuis in Cape Town, Mandela didn’t change much. He put up a picture of his mother’s kraal and of himself as a boxer in the 1950s. He worked in the Elephant Room opposite his bedroom. He often got up at 4:30 and made his own bed. He walked around the grounds before breakfast. Mandela amazed the staff and servants by shaking hands and chatting with all of them, including the gardeners. Klerk noted that Mandela had a special ability to make every person who came in contact with him feel special. Mandela also became friendly with his Afrikaner bodyguards and they in turn became loyal to him. One bodyguard was quoted to say: “I used to do it [duties as a bodyguard] for money, but now it’s for him. His style was always homely and earthy. He had an open smile.He always preferred to deal with politics and diplomacy through one-to-one contacts, bypassing bureaucracies; and he still loved long-distance telephone calls. He forgave his jailors- White people met this gesture with surprise and relief

Saturday 11 June 2011 08:50

In January 1997 Mandela admitted that the ANC had made some misatkes



Commentators and critics including AIDS activists such as Judge Edwin Cameron

criticised Mandela for his government’s ineffectiveness in stemming the AIDS crisis.

After his retirement, Mandela admitted that he may have failed his country by not

paying more attention to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Mandela has since spoken out on

several occasions against the AIDS epidemic

In January 1997, Mandela admitted that the ANC made a mistake when it funded

the costly sequel to the musical Sarafina intended to publicise AIDS. The musical

was never produced


Mandela appointed Winnie as Arts and Culture Minister, who soon afterwards

became involved in a financial scandal. There were shady diamond deals, a dubious

tourist project for black Americans, and an anti-poverty programme which allowed

her huge expenses. Mandela made no move until she became openly disloyal. She

accused the ANC of being preoccupied with appeasing whites, and challenged them to show they were in power.

When Mandela insisted she apologise, Winnie reluctantly signed a formal apology,

but then complained she had done so under duress.

Mandela finally dismissed her from government


In January 1997 Mandela admitted that the ANC had made some fundamental and

serious mistakes, including its response to funding from Sol Kerzner

(who had donated R2million to the ANC)


When Nigeria was taken over by corrupt dictator General Sani Abacha,

Mandela favoured quiet diplomacy on the issue. He believed that Abacha would

yield to international pressure. Not many agreed with him. He was accused of being

soft and there were some who said that were it for quiet diplomacy,

Mandela would not have made it out of jail



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