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Former South Africa President Nelson Mandela Profile, Education, Political Career



Former South Africa President Nelson Mandela Profile, Education, Political Career

Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in the village of Mvezo in Umtata, then part of South Africa's Cape Province. He died on 5th December 2013 at the age of 95 years in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.

Nelson Mandela studied law at the University of Fort Hare and the University of the Witwatersrand before working as a lawyer in Johannesburg. There he became involved in anti-colonial and African nationalist politics, joining the African National Congress (ANC) in 1943 and co-founding its Youth League in 1944.

After the National Party's white-only government established the apartheid system, which was a system of racial segregation that privileged only the white people, he and the ANC committed themselves to overthrow it.

Nelson Mandela 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 (SACP) and though initially he was committed to non-violent protest, in association with the SACP he co-founded the armed group -Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1961 to lead a sabotage campaign against the government.

In 1962, he was arrested for conspiring to overthrow the state and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial.

He served 27 years in prison. However, growing domestic and international pressure combined with the fears of a racial civil war led President F. W. de Klerk to release him from prison in 1990.

Upon his release, Mandela along with de Klerk led the efforts to bring an end to the apartheid system. Their peace efforts resulted in the 1994 multiracial general election in which Mandela led the ANC to victory.

On 10th May 1994, Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first democratically elected President. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. 

Nelson Mandela's government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalized racism and fostering racial reconciliation.

Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997.



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