Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (Madiba, his tribal name), born July 18, 1918 at Mvezo in South Africa, was one of the leaders of the historical struggle against the political system of apartheid and the President of the Republic South Africa in 1994-1999, following the first non-racial national elections in the history of the country.
Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944 to fight against the political domination of the white minority and racial segregation led by it. Became a lawyer, he participated in the nonviolent struggle against the apartheid laws, which begin to be implemented after the election victory of the National Party in May 1948. The ANC was banned in 1960, and "peaceful struggle" does not yield any concrete results, Mandela founded and directed the military wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe, in 1961, leading a campaign of sabotage against public facilities . Arrested by the police, he was sentenced initially sentenced to five years in prison and was charged with sabotage and treason and sentenced to life imprisonment at the Rivonia trial and is serving his sentence on Robben Island for 18 years off Cape Town.
In the late '70s, especially after the Soweto riots in June 1976, he became a famous symbol of the struggle against apartheid, enjoying an international campaign for his release.
After twenty-seven years of imprisonment, Mandela was released February 11, 1990, and supports reconciliation and negotiation with the government of President Frederik de Klerk. In 1993 he received the latter in conjunction with the Nobel Prize for Peace for their shares in favor of the end of apartheid and the establishment of a non-racial democracy in the country.
Elected first black president of South Africa in 1994, are taking on a policy of national reconciliation between whites and blacks and fight against economic inequality, but neglected public security and the fight against AIDS, expanding South Africa. After a single term, he retired from active politics but continues to publicly support the African National Congress. He became an icon of the struggle against poverty through several associations, but also the fight against AIDS, especially after the death of one son of this disease. It is played on a personality of human rights. Presented as the father of multiracial South Africa, it largely accredited during her tenure the contested concept of "nation rainbow" invented by Desmond Tutu.
Family and school
Nelson Mandela was born July 18, 1918 in the village of Mvezo on the banks of the river Mbashe in Transkei, in the province of the current Eastern Cape in South Africa. The name of Mandela, Rolihlahla means "to remove a branch of a tree" or more colloquially "troublemaker".
He is the son of a royal family Thembu Xhosa ethnic group, who reigns over this territory. According to the geneticist Luigi Cavalli-Sforza, he is half Hottentot, that is to say, a Bushman, a population often despised by the Xhosa who are part of the Bantu. His great-grandfather paternal Inkosi Enkhulu, or king of the people Thembu. A son of the king, called Mandela, is the grandfather of Nelson and the future is the source of his surname. But the descendants of this branch of the family were not eligible to succeed to the throne Thembu.
Mandela's father, Henry Gadler Mphakanyiswa, is chief of the village of Mvezo. However, he alienated the colonial authorities who déchoient of his office and exiled his family in the village of Qunu. Despite this, Mphakanyiswa remains a member of the king's privy council and has a crucial role in the rise of the new regent to the throne Jongintaba Dalindyebo Thembu. Dalindyebo remembered for his help in adopting Mandela informally to the death of his father. Mandela's father has four wives which will give 13 children. Mandela was born to his third wife (third from a complex royal ranking system), Fanny Nosekeni Mpemvu Xhosa clan on whose land Mandela will spend most of his childhood.
Rolihlahla Mandela became the first member of his family to go to school, where his teacher Miss Mdingane gives the English name of Nelson, a common practice at that time.
His father died of tuberculosis when he was nine years and the regent became his guardian Jongintaba. It will then to a Methodist mission school next to the palace of the regent. Next Thembu custom, he started at the age of sixteen and goes Clarkebury Boarding Institute. Nelson Mandela spent his Junior Certificate in two years instead of the standard three years. Designated to inherit the post of his father, in 1937 Mandela is in school Methodist Healdtown in Fort Beaufort which most studies of the royal family Thembu. At 19 years he practiced boxing and running this school.
After graduating, he joined the University of Fort Hare to begin law school. There he met Oliver Tambo, who became her friend and colleague. He discovered the African nationalism, is not convinced by Marxism disseminated by the South African Communist Party and adheres to the doctrine of non-violence preached by Gandhi. Gandhi, who began his nonviolent resistance when he was in South Africa, influences not only the methods of Nelson Mandela but also of several generations of anti-apartheid activists who see a way to fight against the oppression and colonialism. At the end of his first year as a member of the Student Representative Council, he is involved in the boycott of university regulation that seeks to transform the board rubber stamp. It is then returned to the university.
Shortly after leaving Fort Hare, Mandela announced Jongintaba and Justice, his son and heir to the throne, he organized an arranged marriage for each. The two young men, dissatisfied with this arrangement, choose to fly to Johannesburg. Upon his arrival, Mandela found a job in a mine guard, but his employer cancels the contract quickly when he realizes that Mandela is the adopted son of the regent at large. Nelson Mandela later worked as a clerk in a law firm with his relationship with his friend and mentor Walter Sisulu. While working, Nelson Mandela completes his degree at the University of South Africa by mail, and then began studying law at the University of the Witwatersrand, where he met many anti-apartheid activists future.
In 1944 Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC) and founded the Youth League ANC Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo who incites mass actions to fight against the political domination of the white minority and the racial segregation that becomes more uniform across the four provinces since the founding in 1910 of the Union of South Africa. Since 1913, the Native Land Act ("Act native land") prohibited Africans from owning land outside the "reserves" existing native, 7% of the total area of the Union of South Africa are so attributed to blacks. This act causes the expropriation of many black independent farmers and the establishment of an agricultural proletariat. In 1923, the Law on Urban Indigenous (Native Urban Areas Act) introduced residential segregation by offering the flexibility to municipalities to create special areas for blacks and to restrict their urbanization. In 1936, the Law on Indigenous representation (Representation of Natives Act) removes the black joint electoral lists of the Cape Province to re-register on separate lists to elect three white MPs representing their interests in parliament and establishes Councils native representations (Native Representative Councils) purely advisory and composed of black elected officials, other appointed officials and. Meanwhile, the law on the merits of investment in land and indigenous land enlarged the reservation area of existing native 7-13% of the country's surface, removing at the same time black residents of Cape Town, the right to buy land outside the reserves. Finally, in 1942, following, among others, several anti-war speeches delivered by Yusuf Dadoo particular, a prominent leader of the Transvaal Indian Congress, and prevention of disorders, strikes by black workers are declared illegal under the war effort.
Mandela married Evelyn in 1944 Ntoko Mase. The couple had four children.
In the general election of 1948, the unexpected victory of the National Party, then exclusively Afrikaner party, leads the development of a new policy of segregation in the name of apartheid, where the territorial link and nationality and status depend on the social status of the individual race, disadvantage largely black population and prohibiting mixed marriages, among others. In turn, the youth league of the ANC appears determined. Internally, it manages to avoid the party chairman, Alfred Xuma, considered too moderate to impose James Moroka and preparing a major campaign of defiance.
In 1951, Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela are the first two black lawyers in Johannesburg. In 1952, Nelson Mandela was elected president of the ANC's Transvaal and national vice-president. It leads with the ANC, the "Defiance Campaign" which promotes civil disobedience against unjust laws considered, culminating in a demonstration April 6, 1952, when the 300th anniversary of the founding of Cape Town by Dutch Jan van Riebeeck and the first installation of white South Africa. Of the 10,000 demonstrators, 8500 were arrested, including Nelson Mandela. The "no confidence campaign" continues in October with protests against segregation and laws against the compulsory pass for blacks. The Malan government then changed the law on public safety (public safety act of 1953) authorizing the authority to suspend civil liberties, to declare a state of emergency and rule by decree. Mandela was sentenced to nine months suspended sentence, is being banned all meetings and is placed under house arrest at his home in Johannesburg where he used it to organize clandestine cells in the ANC. This campaign of passive resistance, which ended in April 1953, allows the ANC to gain credibility from 7 000-100 000 members. Its non-racial option allows him to open up to Indian and white Communists but mestizos are more cautious. When James Moroka pleads conciliation with the government was overthrown by the party's youth league at which time Albert Lutuli at the head of the ANC. In 1955 the conference takes place the people who adopted the charter of freedom which gives the fundamentals of the anti-apartheid. During this period, Nelson Mandela and his friend Oliver Tambo lead the firm Mandela and Tambo that provides legal advice free or at low cost for many blacks who can not afford the legal fees.
Nelson Mandela softens its strong anti-Christian to ask the union between black nationalists and white South African Communist Party in the struggle against apartheid. The Abolition act communist government, which considers anyone a communist "seeks to effect political change, industrial, economic or social development through illegal means, while there is no opportunity for blacks, except the judiciary, struggle against apartheid, forced all currents from revolutionary nationalism to unite. At the legislative level, only representing the opposition United Party and white mongrels, and the Liberal Party of Margaret Ballinger trying to fight against apartheid. While they are engaged in peaceful resistance, Nelson Mandela and 156 others were arrested Dec. 5, 1956 and charged with treason. A marathon trial which lasted from 1957 to 1961 follows, where all the defendants, aided in particular by international funds, exploit any vagueness of the legislation and were finally released gradually and eventually paid by the South African justice.
In 1957, Nelson Mandela and wife divorce, in 1958, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
From 1952 to 1959, a new breed of black activists, known to Africanists, disturb the activities of the ANC in the townships demanding more drastic action against the government policy. The ANC leadership, including Albert Lutuli, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu, said that not only Africanist want to go too fast, but they question their authority. The ANC will therefore strengthen its position by alliances with smaller political parties whites, Indians and colored in an attempt to appear more inclusive than the Africanists. In 1959, the ANC lost its most militant support when most Africanists who have financial support from Ghana and policy of the Basotho, seceded to form the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) under the leadership of Robert Sobukwe.
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