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Nelson Mandela

Essay by review  •  March 16, 2011  •  Essay  •  293 Words (2 Pages)  •  660 Views

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Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in the Transkei, South Africa on July 18th 1918. The son of one of its leading dignitaries, he spent his childhood in the Tembu royalty before starting on a career in law. As a law student Mandela became involved in political conflict to the white regime rejection of political, social and economic rights to South Africa's black population.

In 1942 Mandela joined the African National Congress. After the 1948 election victory Of the Afrikaner National Party with the Apartheid policy of racial segregation, in 1952 the African National Congress staged a campaign known as the Defiance Campaign when protesters across the country refused to obey apartheid laws. That same year Mandela became one of the African National Congress' four deputy presidents.

In 1952 he and his friend Oliver Tambo were the first blacks to open a law practice in South Africa. In the face of government persecution and with the vision of the African National Congress being officially banned.

By 1954 Mandela, with Oliver Tambo and others, moved the African National Congress in a more militant direction against the increasingly discriminatory policies of the government. He was charged with treason in 1956 because of the African National Congress' increased activity, particularly in the Defiance Campaign. He was arrested in August 1962 and sentenced to five years in prison for incitement and for leaving the country illegally.

From 1964 to 1982 Mandela was incarcerated at Robben Island Prison, off Cape Town. He was consequently kept at the maximum-security Pollsmoor Prison until 1988, at which time he was hospitalized for tuberculosis. Mandela retained wide support among South Africa's black population.

In 1993 Mandela was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace on behalf of his efforts.

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