Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (gebore 18 Julie 1918, oorlede 5 Desember 2013) was die eerste staatshoof (1994-1999) van 'n volledig demokratiese Suid-Afrika. Hy is in 1999 as staatshoof deur Thabo Mbeki opgevolg.
Rolihlala Mandela is op 18 Julie 1918 in Qunu, in die Transkei in die destydse Unie van Suid-Afrika, gebore. Op sewejarige leeftyd word hy die eerste lid van sy familie wat skool toe gaan. Hier ontvang hy sy Engelse noemnaam, "Nelson", van 'n onderwyseres. Ná matriek studeer Mandela aan die Universiteit van Fort Hare, waar hy Oliver Tambo ontmoet, 'n lewenslange vriend en later kollega in die stryd ("struggle") om die bevryding van die agtergeblewe volke van Suid-Afrika.
In 1942 word Mandela lid van die ANC en, saam met kamerade soos Walter Sisulu en Oliver Tambo en verskeie ondersteuners, stig hulle in 1944 die ANC Jeugliga. Die Afrikaner-beheerde Nasionale Party verkry in 1948 politieke beheer en ontwikkel die apartheidsbeleid wat op rasse-segregasie gegrond is. Mandela is prominent in die ANC se versetaksie van 1952 asook die 1955-kongres waartydens die Vryheidsmanifes aangeneem word. In 1960 skiet die SA Polisie na oproeriges in Sharpeville en word die ANC en anti-apartheidsgroepe verbied. Ná hierdie gebeurtenis, wat as 'n slagting onder die oproeriges beskou word, besluit Mandela en sy volgelinge om hulle tot gewapende verset te wend.
Arrestasie en gevangesetting
In 1961 is Mandela leier van die ANC se gewapende vleuel Umkhonto we Sizwe. Op 5 Augustus 1962 word Mandela in hegtenis geneem, nadat hy vir 17 maande op vlug was en word te die Johannesburg Fort in gevangenis geplaas. Op 25 Oktober 1962 is Mandela tot 5 jaar gevangesetting gevonnis en op 11 Junie 1964 word hy skuldig bevind en uitspraak gelewer betreffende sy verbintenis met terrorsiste-bedrywighede - onder andere die Kerkstraat-bomontploffing.
- President van die ANC (Julie 1991 - Desember 1997)
- Staatspresident van die RSA (Mei 1994 - Junie 1999)
Ontluik as voorspraak vir 'n verskeidenheid menseregte-organisasies en bedrywighede gerig op maatskaplike werksaamhede.
Gedurende Mei 2004 tree hy op in die afvaardiging wat die RSA by FIFA verteenwoordig om die Wêreldbeker-sokkertoernooi in 2010 aan te bied. Die Suid-Afrikaanse afvaardiging is suksesvol en Mandela word in hierdie opsig beskou as 'n sleutelfiguur. Mandela kondig op 1 Junie 2004 aan dat hy uit die openbare oog tree "om te gaan rus" -- hy benodig meer tyd om saam met sy familie deur te bring, privaat te wees en sy boek te voltooi. Ook wil hy nog meer leeswerk onderneem.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was South Africa's first black chief executive, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.
A Xhosa born to the Thembu royal family, Mandela attended the Fort Hare University and the University of Witwatersrand, where he studied law. Living in Johannesburg, he became involved in anti-colonial politics, joining the ANC and becoming a founding member of its Youth League. After the South African National Party came to power in 1948, he rose to prominence in the ANC's 1952 Defiance Campaign, was appointed superintendent of the organisation's Transvaal chapter and presided over the 1955 Congress of the People. Working as a lawyer, he was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and, with the ANC leadership, was unsuccessfully prosecuted in the Treason Trial from 1956 to 1961. Influenced by Marxism, he secretly joined the South African Communist Party (SACP) and sat on its Central Committee. Although initially committed to non-violent protest, in association with the SACP he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) in 1961, leading a sabotage campaign against the apartheid government. In 1962, he was arrested, convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the state, and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial.
Mandela served over 27 years in prison, initially on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. An international campaign lobbied for his release.
He was released in 1990, during a time of escalating civil strife. Mandela joined negotiations with President F. W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections in 1994, in which he led the ANC to victory and became South Africa's first black president. He published his autobiography in 1995. During his tenure in the Government of National Unity he invited several other political parties to join the cabinet. As agreed to during the negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa, he promulgated a new constitution. He also created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses. While continuing the former government's liberal economic policy, his administration also introduced measures to encourage land reform, combat poverty, and expand healthcare services. Internationally, he acted as mediator between Libya and the United Kingdom in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial, and oversaw military intervention in Lesotho. He declined to run for a second term, and was succeeded by his deputy, Thabo Mbeki. Mandela became an elder statesman, focusing on charitable work in combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Mandela was a controversial figure for much of his life. Denounced as a communist terrorist by critics, he nevertheless gained international acclaim for his activism, having received more than 250 honours, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Soviet Order of Lenin and the Bharat Ratna. He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is often referred to by his Xhosa clan name, Madiba, or as Tata ("Father"); he is often described as "the father of the nation".
12 November 2008