Dec 6, 2013, 11:01 AM
 Nelson Mandela's life

TEHRAN, Dec. 6 (MNA) – South Africa's anti-apartheid hero and former president Nelson Mandela has passed away at age 95 in his Johannesburg home, South African President Jacob Zuma has announced.

In 1918, Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Mvezo, near Qunu, in the Eastern Cape. He was given the Christian name 'Nelson' by a teacher at a missionary primary school in the area. Later, he attended Clarkebury Boarding Institute and then Healdtown, a Wesleyan College at Fort Beaufort.

In 1939, Mandela enrolled at Fort Hare University. He was later expelled and moved to Johannesburg in 1941, where he completed a BA degree through correspondence.

Mass action
In 1943 he enrolled at University of the Witwatersrand'd (Wits) Law Faculty. While he did not complete his LLB, he spent six years at the campus, getting his first exposure to mass political action. He also joined the African National Congress (ANC) which was founded by Oliver Tambo.

First marriage
Mandela married his first wife Evelyn Mase in 1944 and they moved to Orlando, Soweto. The couple stayed together for 13 years, and they had four children.

In 1948, the National Party came into power and officially instituted a new policy called apartheid (literally meaning ‘apartness’).

Anti-apartheid struggle
At the end of the 1940s, Mandela was elected to the ANC national executive committee. As part of a multi-racial anti-apartheid movement, he also engaged in activities with the Communist Party and Transvaal Indian Congress. He was elected president of the ANC Youth League.


Law practice
In 1952 Mandela opened his own law offices with Oliver Tambo.

Freedom Charter
The Freedom Charter, which calls for equal rights and the abolition of apartheid, was adopted in 1955 at the Congress of the People in Kliptown, Soweto.

Mandela was charged a number of times for violating the Suppression of Communism Act. He was also imprisoned briefly for his part in the Defiance Campaign.

Mandela was arrested charged with 155 others in the 1956 Treason Trial. All defendants were acquitted by 1961.

Mandela divorced Evelyn Mase in 1957 and later married Winnie Madikizela in 1958.

Armed struggle
Anti-pass campaigns were launched, and a state of emergency was declared in 1960. The ANC was banned. Mandela went into hiding in 1961 and the armed wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), was set up, with Mandela playing a key role in its initiation.


In the 1960s, Mandela was serving a life sentence in prison; his mother and eldest son died during this time, but the authorities did not allow him to leave to attend the funerals.

'Life' in prison
Mandela was arrested in the 1960s, and in 1963 charged for sabotage in the Rivonia trial with nine others including Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni.

Tensions escalated in the 1970s, with over 600 students being killed by police during mass protests in Soweto.

An international campaign was launched calling for for Mandela's release.


Mandela was moved to Pollsmoor Prison.

Offer rejected
The ANC claimed responsibility for a number of violent attacks on key sites during the 80s. In 1985, Mandela rejected Prime Minister PW Botha's offers to release him if he renounced violence. Mandela also underwent prostate surgery.

The dank conditions in Mandela's cell caused him to contract tuberculosis in 1988. At the end of that year, he was moved to Victor Vester Prison near Paarl, where he was held for 14 months until his release.

In February 1990, after 27-years in prison, Mandela was released. He was elected ANC president in 1991.


Joint award
In 1993, he was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with former SA president FW De Klerk

Prisoner to president
South Africa voted in its first democratic election in April 1994. At age 75, it was the first time Mandela voted in his life. The ANC won and Mandela was sworn in as the country's first black president.



In 1995, Mandela established the Nelson Mandela Children's Fun. He played an active role in public life. South Africa hosted and won the Rugby world Cup, the first major sporting event to take place in the country after the fall of apartheid. In 1996 Mandela divorced Winnie.

Third marriage
On his 80th birthday, in 1998, he married Graca Machel.

Steps down
In 1999 Mandela stepped down after one term as president; he was replaced by Thabo Mbeki. Mandela also established the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Launches campaign
In 2001 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. In 2001, Mandela launched global HIV/AIDS campaign 46664 - named after his prison number. He also established the Mandela Rhodes Foundation in 2003.

In 2004, he announced that he would be stepping down from public

Continue fighting
In 2008 Mandela turned 90-years old. He asked the emerging generation to continue the fight for social justice.

Next president
In 2009, he attended the inauguration of South Africa’s fourth democratically elected president Jacob Zuma


Surprise visit
Mandela, who rarely appeared in public, made a surprise appearance at the final match of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, which was hosted by South Africa.



Ailing health
In 2011, Mandela was admitted to hospital in Johannesburg for a respiratory infection. He retreated almost entirely from public life; he did not attend the centenary celebrations of the ANC in December.

Ancestral home
Mandela spent the majority of 2011 and 2012 at his ancestral home in Qunu. He was admitted to hospital once again in 2012 and a few more times in 2013.

The end
Mandela spent much of 2013 at his Johannesburg home, where he passed away on December 5 surrounded by his family. Mandela was 95.

Source: Aljazeerah

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