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Nelson Mandela Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born on the 18th of July 1918 in the village of Mvezo in the southeastern part of South Africa. Mandela was named Rolihlahla which means troublemaker in the Xhosa language. Mandela's grandfather was the ruler of the Xhosa people and his father was a local chief. Mandela was the first person in his family to attend school, he first went to a Methodist school when he was seven. It was in that school he got his English name “Nelson.” Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” When Mandela was about nine his father died of an unknown illness which they believed was lung disease. Mandela later went on to graduate from college and studied law at the University of Witwatersrand. Mandela has had three wifes and six children, he had four children with his first wife Evelyn Mase and two children with his second wife Winnie Madikizela. Winnie was his wife through his entire imprisonment, but because of political and personal reasons they had a divorce in 1994. He married his third wife, Graca Machel in 1998, at that point Nelson was 80 years old. Both of Mandela's daughters of his first marriage were named Makazawie. The oldest one died at nine months old and the youngest was named Makazawie in the oldest daughters honor. The two sons of his first marriage were named Madiba and Makgatho. Madiba died in a car crash when he was 25 years old in 1969, Nelson was in prison at the time so he couldn’t attend his funeral. Makgatho died of AIDS in 2005, Nelson has always expressed his opinions on HIV and AIDS, and the 46664 AIDS campaign was named after Nelson's prison number. Nelson and Winnie have two girls, Zenani was born in 1958 and Zindziswa who was born in 1960. In 1944 Mandela helped starting the African National Congress Youth League. He wanted to free South Africa of apartheid without violence, but the government started killing and hurting protesters. The government also made laws, that made it impossible for Mandela to free South Africa without violence. So he decided that if the black people did not use violence they would never get their rights back. On August 5th 1962 Nelson Mandela was captured and arrested by the police. He was accused of sabotage and conspiracy. On June 12th 1964 the court found Mandela and two of his friends guilty of all four charges and sentencing them to life in prison instead of death. Mandela was transferred to Robben island, he was isolated from most other prisoners except other political prisoners. Mandela's cell was 5 square meters and he only had a straw mat to sleep on. Mandela worked all day breaking rocks into gravel and working in a Lime quarry. In 1967 prison conditions improved they got to wear long trousers, play games like football and they were provided with better food. Mandela was only allowed one visit every six months and he was only allowed to send one letter every six months.
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In April 1982 Mandela and four others were transferred to Pollsmoor prison. In Pollsmoor the conditions were much better, they were able to sleep in the same room and they got to send 52 letters each year, they had their own garden and they were able to read books. In December 1988 Mandela was moved to Victor Verster prison. There he had his own cook and he could send as many letters as he wished and all visits were allowed. In 1989 the South African President agreed to release Mandela unconditionally and legalize all political parties. Mandela left Victor Verster prison on the 2nd February 1990 after 28 years of imprisonment. In 1990 and 1991 Nelson Mandela visited a lot of different countries to gain their support against apartheid. The Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) began in December 1991. Very little negotiation was achieved at this big meeting/event. CODESA 2 was held in may 1992 where de Klerk meant that post-apartheid South Africa needed to use a federal system with a rotating presidency, ensuring the protection of ethnic minorities. Mandela wanted a unitary system governed by majority rule. Presidency Nelson Mandela was the first black president and the first one to be elected in a complete democratic way. He won the election in April 1994. He was the head of ANC which had no experience in governance, but representatives from the National Party and Inkatha helped them. Because of some earlier promises, de Klerk became first Deputy President and Thabo Mbeki was selected as second. Mandela actually didn't want Mbeki for that job, but in time he trusted him and relied heavily on him, making him organise policy details. When he was 76 years old he faced many illness. Even though he had energy he felt left out and lonely. Besides that he lived simply, donating a third of his annual income to the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. With South Africa having transitioned from apartheid minority rule to a multicultural democracy, Mandela thought of his mane task as national reconciliation. Having seen other African economies damaged by the departure of white elites, Mandela assured the with population of South Africa that they were protected and represented in the Rainbow Nation. He personally met with senior figures of the apartheid regime, wishing for reconciliation. When Mandela's rule started there was a huge disparity in wealth and services between white and black communities. Of a population of 40 million, around 23 million lacked electricity, 12 million lacked clean water supplies, 2 million children not in school and a third of the population illiterate. There was 33% unemployment and just under half of the population lived under the poverty line. Under Mandela's presidency welfare spending was increased by 13%. In 1994 free healthcare was introduced for children under six and pregnant women. In 1999 ANC announced numbers on how well the government were doing at getting children to school and getting clean water for more people. Later Life In 1997 Mandela stepped down as president. Mandela sought a quiet family life after his retirement, but I didn't work so well so he began working with national problems again. He focused a lot of his time fighting HIV/AIDS. Mbeki had been chosen as successor to Mandela, so Mandela asked that Mbeki ensured that all South Africans had access to anti-retrovirals. In 2004 he retired from his retirement. He was still involved a bit in international affairs. He travelled to
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the U.S. to speak before the Brookings Institute and to speak with the leaders of the U.S. Mandelas 90th birthday was marked all over South Africa, with the main celebration taking place in Qunu. Throughout Mbeki's presidency Mandela continued to support the ANC. The last appearance of Mandela at a big public event, was the closing cere mony of the football World Cup. After that he was hospitalised quite a lot of times and then died from illness on the 5 th December 2013.