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Nelson Mandela- Hero of the Century

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (d. 18 July 1918, Umtata, Transkei), Anti-Apartheid activist from South Africa, was elected as head-state of the South Africa Republic in the elections in which the whole public participated for the first time from 1994 to 1999.

Government has focused on dispersing Apartheid legacy, hindering racism , poverty and inequality. Mandela, who is a democratic socialist as political view, He carried out a duty as a party leader in Africa International Council from 1990 to 1999.

Mandela, who was born as a son of the tribe chief in Tembu tribe and who spoke Xhosa language belonging Bantu languages studied law education, Fort Hare and Witwatersrand universities.

He was included to anticolonist view when living in the districts of Johannesburg an. He participated in ANC became the founder member of junior branch of this party. When National Party applied Apartheid in 1948, Defiance Campaign of ANC in 1952, he became noticeable and as a result he was elected as the chief to the Transvaal ANC branch in Public Congress. When He had been working as a lawyer, he was continuously arrested due to provocative activities and Treason Trials which spanned from 1956 to 1961.

Although he initially asserted that there would be non-violent protest, he collaborated with South Africa Communist Party in 1961 and established Umkhanto and Sizwe (MK) which processed bombing to the government targets.

He was arrested in 1962 sentenced to life imprisonment because of conspiring for overthrowing the government and sabotage.

He served his sentence before in Robben Island then in Pollsmoor Prison. In the meanwhile, a campaign which would be approved in 1990, that is, after 27 years, was ordered for his releasing. After he exited from prison, Mandela, who was the ANC chief, wrote his autobiography and conduced to the meetings for enabling the whole public to participate, establishing of an election that ANC would win to a great extent and termination of Apartheid with F.W de Klerk, the president in 1994.

He formed a new constitution as a head state and when he applied the policies such as land reform, struggle with poverty and enhancing the health, he formed the Trueness and Reconciliation Commission for the purpose of researching the human rights violation in the past. He played a role as mediator between Libya and United Kingdom during the Lockerbie disaster meetings. He refused to participate in a second election and his assistant Thabo Mheki replaced him by election. Mandela then took part in voluntary works as a national leader and he struggled with poverty and AIDS much more. Mandela won recognition internationally with his anti- colonist and anti -Apartheid view and He won prizes over 250 including Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, USA Presidency Freedom Medal and Soviet Lenin Sign. He is seen as “Father of the Nation in South Africa and also mostly called as Madiba which is the name of Kosa tribe.

He started being interested in politics during the school days

After his high school edcutation, Mandela entered Fort Hare University College. He studied English, Antropology, Politics, Local Administration and Law. He wa included in the political events while he was studying here.He was rusticated on the grounds that he organised and participated in a student boycot. He went to Transvaal by departing Transkei. He fullilled a duty as a police officer in mines here. In the meantime he continued his incomplete education by distance education. He started being a lawyer after he had finished the Law department in Witwaterstrand University. He assumed the title of first black lawyer of the country. He went abroad in 1962 for searching support for himself. He wandered England and African countries. He provided arm and money aid from African countries and socialist countries. When returning to the country , he and his friends were judged for the alleges ; going abroad without permission, provocating the public, organising sabotages and assasinations.He defended that he didn’t have to obey the laws determined by the parlement representing the whites in which the whole public was not represented. He was sentenced to life imprisonment by white government (1964). By this behaviour, he became the representation and symbol for the African Blacks struggling with racism.

Nelson Mandela is remembered as the most famous convict in the world. He became prominent for intensifiying struggle for racism all over the world after he was imprisoned in Robben Island(Fok Island ) in South Africa in the years 1980s. He was released by head state De klark unconditionally in 1991. He was 71 years old when he was released.

Most of the whites became happy for his release apart from the blacks. Mandela’s saying as : “I will struggle for the independence of the blacks through all my life” make him symbolize as a flag colloquially.

After he exited from prison in 1990 , He worked for establishing a democratic South Africa and founded it. Africans believe that this would not possible without Mandela. Today, Mandela is accepted as a freedom fighter. He won prizes more than 100 in 40 years. He was elected  the first black head state of South Africa in 10 may 1994. He is known for his Madiba nickname given by the grands in his own tribe.

His first mariage

Nelson Mandela married first time to Evelyn Ntoko Mase in 1944 and had two sons named Madiba Thembekile (Thembi) (1946-1969) ve Makgatho Mandela (1950–2005) and two daughters named Makaziwe Mandela (Maki; 1947 ve 1953) during their thirteen-year – marriage. Because their first daughter died when she was nine-month- baby , second daughter was named by her name for her memory. When his first son Thembi died in traffic accident in 1969, Mandela who was prisoned in Robben Island could not have the permission to participate in the funeral.

Second mariage

His second wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela undertook the leadership of the blacks after 18 months of their first daughter birth when Nelson Mandela was sent to Robben Island. After Nelson Mandela got away from prison in 1990, his wife was judged for the crimes abduction and murder and this caused them to divorce in 1996. Their first daughter married to Swaziland prince Thumbumuzi Dlamini and after that she was not permitted to see his father in prison.

Third mariage

Nelson Mandela did his third time marriage on his 80th birthday with Graça Maçhel.

Graça Maçhel is wife of old Mozambic head state Samora Machel who died in airplane accident in 1986 and she became widower after his death. In 1992, Atatürk International Peace Prize was given to the Africa National Congress chief Nelson Mandela. However, he did not accept the prize. Mandela was given Lenin Peace Prize in 1962, Nehru Prize in 1979, UNESCO’S Simon Bolivar prize in 1983. In 1993, he won the Nobel Peace Prize along with De Klerk.

* This article was taken from “Africa Time” magazine (November 2014 Edition) by demanding all necessary permissions for copyright.

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