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His Excellency
Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela-2008 .jpg
Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg in May 2008

1st President of South Africa

In office10 May 1994 – 16 June 1999

Deputy

Thabo MbekiF. W. de Klerk

Preceded by

F. W. de Klerk

Succeeded by

Thabo Mbeki

11th President of the African National Congress

In office7 July 1991 – 20 December 1997

Deputy

Walter SisuluThabo Mbeki

Preceded by

Oliver Tambo

Succeeded by

Thabo Mbeki

19th Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement

In office2 September 1998 – 16 June 1999

Preceded by

Andrés Pastrana Arango

Succeeded by

Thabo Mbeki

Personal details

Born

Rolihlahla Mandela
18 July 1918 Mvezo, Cape Province, South Africa

Died

5 December 2013 Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Cause of death

Respiratory infection

Resting place

Mandela Graveyard Qunu, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Political party

African National Congress

Other political affiliations

South African Communist Party

Spouse

  • Evelyn Ntoko Mase ( m.   1944 ; div.   1958 )
  • Winnie Madikizela ( m.   1958 ; div.   1996 )
  • Graça Machel ( m.   1998 )

Children

6

Parents

Nosekeni Fanny Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa

Alma mater

  • University of Fort Hare
  • University of London
  • University of South Africa
  • University of the Witwatersrand

Occupation

  • Activist
  • Politician
  • Philanthropist
  • Lawyer

Known for

Anti-Apartheid Movement

Awards

  • Sakharov Prize
  • Bharat Ratna
  • Nishan-e-Pakistan
  • Nobel Peace Prize
  • Order of Lenin
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom

Notable work

Long Walk to Freedom

Website

nelsonmandela .org

Nickname

  • Madiba
  • Dalibunga

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial reconciliation. Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress party from 1991 to 1997.

A Xhosa, Mandela was born to the Thembu royal family in Mvezo, British South Africa. He studied law at the University of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand before working as a lawyer in Johannesburg. There he became involved in anti-colonial and African nationalist politics, joining the ANC in 1943 and co-founding its Youth League in 1944. After the National Party's white-only government established apartheid, a system of racial segregation that privileged whites, he and the ANC committed themselves to its overthrow. Mandela was appointed President of the ANC's Transvaal branch, rising to prominence for his involvement in the 1952 Defiance Campaign and the 1955 Congress of the People. He was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and was unsuccessfully prosecuted in the 1956 Treason Trial. Influenced by Marxism, he secretly joined the banned South African Communist Party . Although initially committed to non-violent protest, in association with the SACP he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1961 and led a sabotage campaign against the government. He was arrested and imprisoned in 1962, and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the state following the Rivonia Trial.

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Discover Nelson Mandela Quotes and Sayings

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. - Nelson Mandela

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion.

Nelson Mandela

racism religion ethnicity
I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying. - Nelson Mandela

I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.

Nelson Mandela

religion
I started to make a study of the art of war and revolution and, whilst abroad, underwent a course in military training. If there was to be guerrilla warfare, I wanted to be able to stand and fight with my people and to share the hazards of war with them. - Nelson Mandela

I started to make a study of the art of war and revolution and, whilst abroad, underwent a course in military training. If there was to be guerrilla warfare, I wanted to be able to stand and fight with my people and to share the hazards of war with them.

Nelson Mandela

art war
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. - Nelson Mandela

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

Nelson Mandela

change education
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. - Nelson Mandela

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

Nelson Mandela

courage fear
There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires. - Nelson Mandela

There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.

Nelson Mandela

death freedom
If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness. - Nelson Mandela

If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.

Nelson Mandela

dreams forgiveness
Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another. - Nelson Mandela

Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.

Nelson Mandela

experience
I am confident that nobody... will accuse me of selfishness if I ask to spend time, while I am still in good health, with my family, my friends and also with myself. - Nelson Mandela

I am confident that nobody... will accuse me of selfishness if I ask to spend time, while I am still in good health, with my family, my friends and also with myself.

Nelson Mandela

family good health time
Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace. - Nelson Mandela

Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.

Nelson Mandela

fear peace
There is nothing I fear more than waking up without a program that will help me bring a little happiness to those with no resources, those who are poor, illiterate, and ridden with terminal disease. - Nelson Mandela

There is nothing I fear more than waking up without a program that will help me bring a little happiness to those with no resources, those who are poor, illiterate, and ridden with terminal disease.

Nelson Mandela

fear happiness
For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. - Nelson Mandela

For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

Nelson Mandela

freedom
Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will. - Nelson Mandela

Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will.

Nelson Mandela

freedom money success
Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement. - Nelson Mandela

Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.

Nelson Mandela

freedom
Communists have always played an active role in the fight by colonial countries for their freedom, because the short-term objects of Communism would always correspond with the long-term objects of freedom movements. - Nelson Mandela

Communists have always played an active role in the fight by colonial countries for their freedom, because the short-term objects of Communism would always correspond with the long-term objects of freedom movements.

Nelson Mandela

freedom
Where globalization means, as it so often does, that the rich and powerful now have new means to further enrich and empower themselves at the cost of the poorer and weaker, we have a responsibility to protest in the name of universal freedom. - Nelson Mandela

Where globalization means, as it so often does, that the rich and powerful now have new means to further enrich and empower themselves at the cost of the poorer and weaker, we have a responsibility to protest in the name of universal freedom.

Nelson Mandela

freedom