Who is Nelson Madela?

Decent Essays

Nelson Mandela 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 putting an end to apartheid through tackling racism, poverty, and inequality. Mandela has recently passed away on December 5th 2013, and the world is truly grieving over his death. Mandela was born to the Thembu royal family in South Africa, and attended Fort Hare University of Witwatersrand, where he studied law. Mandela was the only African American student and although there was extreme racism, he befriended the liberal and communist European, Jewish, and Indian students. He became close with students Joe Slovo, Harry Schwarz and Ruth First, and joined the African National Congress Youth League in 1943. In 1943 Mandela met Anton Lembede, an African nationalist who opposed colonialism and imperialism. Despite being close to whites and communists, Mandela and Lembede shared the same views that black Africans should be independent in their struggle for political self-determination. Later that year Mandela had to rush Lembede to the hospital where he later died. Mandela was succeeded as ANCYL president. On December 5th 1956, Mandela was arrested along with most of the ANC Executive for “high treason” against the state. He and his fellow activists were held in Johannesburg

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