18.07- Mandela day

Today is a birthday anniversary of Nelson Mandela and official  Mandela day so I have decided to dedicate my text to this great man.

As you all know he was anti-apartheid fighter and first South Africa black president. I will try to give some not so known information about him and his personal life.

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Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in the village of Mvezo in Umtata, then a part of South Africa’s Cape Province. Given the forename Rolihlahla, a Xhosa term colloquially meaning “troublemaker”, in later years he became known by his clan name, Madiba

Mandela grew up with two sisters in his mother’s kraal in the village of Qunu, where he tended herds as a cattle-boy, spending much time outside with other boys. Both his parents were illiterate, but being a devout Christian, his mother sent him to a local Methodist school when he was about seven.

He studied English, anthropology, politics, native administration, and Roman Dutch law in his first year of college, desiring to become an interpreter or clerk in the Native Affairs Department.

At the end of his first year he became involved in a Students’ Representative Council (SRC) boycott against the quality of food, for which he was temporarily suspended from the university; he left without receiving a degree.

He was attending communist talks and parties, Mandela was impressed that Europeans, Africans, Indians and Coloured were mixing as equals. He stated later that he did not join the Party because its atheism conflicted with his Christian faith, and because he saw the South African struggle as being racially based rather than class warfare.

So now I will skip to the period of his fight against apartheid.

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On 5 August 1962, police captured Mandela along with Cecil Williams near Howick.

Jailed in Johannesburg’s Marshall Square prison, he was charged with inciting workers’ strikes and leaving the country without permission.

His hearing began on 15 October, but he disrupted proceedings by wearing a traditional kaross, refusing to call any witnesses, and turning his plea of mitigation into a political speech. Found guilty, he was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.

On 11 July 1963, police raided Liliesleaf Farm, arresting those they found there and uncovering paperwork documenting MK’s activities, some of which mentioned Mandela. The Rivonia Trial began at Pretoria Supreme Court on 9 October, with Mandela and his comrades charged with four counts of sabotage and conspiracy to violently overthrow the government. They used the trial to highlight their political cause. At the opening of the defence’s proceedings, Mandela gave a three-hour speech. That speech was widely reported in the press despite official censorship, and has been hailed as one of his greatest speeches. On 12 June 1964, justice Quartus de Wet found Mandela and two of his co-accused guilty on all four charges, sentencing them to life imprisonment rather than death. Mandela and his co-accused were transferred from Pretoria to the prison on Robben Island, remaining there for the next 18 years.

Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, president de Klerk called his cabinet together to debate legalising the ANC and freeing Mandela. Although some were deeply opposed to his plans, de Klerk met with Mandela in December to discuss the situation, a meeting both men considered friendly, before releasing Mandela unconditionally and legalising all formerly banned political parties on 2 February 1990.

He was elected president in 1994.

After suffering from a prolonged respiratory infection, Mandela died on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95. He died at around 20:50 local time (UTC+2) at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, surrounded by his family.His death was announced on television by President Jacob Zuma.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”  – Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Have a great 18.07.2014.

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