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BBC - iWonder - Nelson Mandela: The last great liberator?

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Botha offered Mandela's release in exchange for renouncing armed struggle; the prisoner flatly rejected the offer. With increasing local and international pressure for his release, the government participated in several talks with Mandela over the ensuing years, but no deal was made.

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It wasn't until Botha suffered a stroke and was replaced by Frederik Willem de Klerk that Mandela's release was finally announced, on February 11, De Klerk also lifted the ban on the ANC, removed restrictions on political groups and suspended executions. Upon his release from prison, Mandela immediately urged foreign powers not to reduce their pressure on the South African government for constitutional reform. While he stated that he was committed to working toward peace, he declared that the ANC's armed struggle would continue until the black majority received the right to vote. In , Mandela was elected president of the African National Congress, with lifelong friend and colleague Oliver Tambo serving as national chairperson.

White South Africans were willing to share power, but many black South Africans wanted a complete transfer of power.

Nelson Mandela

The negotiations were often strained, and news of violent eruptions, including the assassination of ANC leader Chris Hani, continued throughout the country. Mandela had to keep a delicate balance of political pressure and intense negotiations amid the demonstrations and armed resistance. Due in no small part to the work of Mandela and President de Klerk, negotiations between black and white South Africans prevailed: On April 27, , South Africa held its first democratic elections. Mandela was inaugurated as the country's first black president on May 10, , at the age of 77, with de Klerk as his first deputy.

From until June , President Mandela worked to bring about the transition from minority rule and apartheid to black majority rule. He used the nation's enthusiasm for sports as a pivot point to promote reconciliation between whites and blacks, encouraging black South Africans to support the once-hated national rugby team.

In , South Africa came to the world stage by hosting the Rugby World Cup, which brought further recognition and prestige to the young republic. That year Mandela was also awarded the Order of Merit. During his presidency Mandela also worked to protect South Africa's economy from collapse. Through his Reconstruction and Development Plan, the South African government funded the creation of jobs, housing and basic health care. In , Mandela signed into law a new constitution for the nation, establishing a strong central government based on majority rule, and guaranteeing both the rights of minorities and the freedom of expression.

By the general election, Mandela had retired from active politics. He continued to maintain a busy schedule, however, raising money to build schools and clinics in South Africa's rural heartland through his foundation, and serving as a mediator in Burundi's civil war. Mandela was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer in In June , at the age of 85, he announced his formal retirement from public life and returned to his native village of Qunu. On July 18, , Mandela and wife Graca Machel co-founded The Elders , a group of world leaders aiming to work both publicly and privately to find solutions to some of the world's toughest issues.

The Elders' impact has spanned Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and their actions have included promoting peace and women's equality, demanding an end to atrocities, and supporting initiatives to address humanitarian crises and promote democracy. In addition to advocating for peace and equality on both a national and global scale, in his later years, Mandela remained committed to the fight against AIDS. His son Makgatho died of the disease in Mandela made his last public appearance at the final match of the World Cup in South Africa in He remained largely out of the spotlight in his later years, choosing to spend much of his time in his childhood community of Qunu, south of Johannesburg.

He did, however, visit with U. Barack Obama, while a junior senator from Illinois, also met with Mandela during his trip to the United States. Mandela died on December 5, , at the age of 95 in his home in Johannesburg, South Africa.

After suffering a lung infection in January , Mandela was briefly hospitalized in Johannesburg to undergo surgery for a stomach ailment in early He was released after a few days, later returning to Qunu. Mandela would be hospitalized many times over the next several years — in December , March and June — for further testing and medical treatment relating to his recurrent lung infection.

Following his June hospital visit, Mandela's wife, Graca Machel, canceled a scheduled appearance in London to remain at her husband's his side, and his daughter, Zenani Dlamini, flew back from Argentina to South Africa to be with her father. Jacob Zuma , South Africa's president, issued a statement in response to public concern over Mandela's March health scare, asking for support in the form of prayer: "We appeal to the people of South Africa and the world to pray for our beloved Madiba and his family and to keep them in their thoughts," Zuma said.

In , Mandela published his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom , much of which he had secretly written while in prison. The book inspired the movie Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. In , Mandela's birthday July 18th was declared Mandela Day, an international day to promote global peace and celebrate the South African leader's legacy. According to the Nelson Mandela Foundation , the annual event is meant to encourage citizens worldwide to give back the way that Mandela has throughout his lifetime.

A statement on the Nelson Mandela Foundation's website reads: "Mr. Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity. All we are asking is that everyone gives.


40 Mandela Effect Examples That Will Blow Your Mind

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Winnie Mandela has died at the age of See how his determination and intellect set him apart, not just as one of the leaders of an outlawed freedom fighting movement, but as a man determined to show respect and kindness to all, and in doing so, encouraging others to engage and change.

Nelson Mandela sewing clothes in the court yard on Robben Island. Prisoners working in the court yard on Robben Island. Nelson Mandela may have appeared to be a free man the day he walked out of Victor Verster prison, but it was not his destiny to lead a quiet, normal life. What happened next was extraordinary. Did anyone have any real idea about what would happen next?

We must not allow fear to stand in our way.

A 1994 pre-election debate between Mandela and de Klerk

A mission he pursued even into his 90s, before age finally caught up with him. Conclude your journey through the exhibition with a reflective and emotionally resonant experience. Remembering Mandela — a filmed series of remarkable personal accounts from people whose lives have been changed by Nelson Mandela. A mix of famous people and citizens. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead. The Exhibition.

Political prisoner. World leader. Elder statesman. Symbol of the struggle against oppression.