Nelson Mandela

  • Nelson Mandela was born

    Nelson Mandela was born
    Rolihlahla Mandela is born in Mvezo, a tiny village in the Transkei.
  • Period: to

    Nelson Manedla was born

    The Life spand of Nelson Mandela and thee the illlegal actiobn ever justifified to bring about a desiered change?
  • Attends University of Fort Hare

    Attends University of Fort Hare
    Mr. Mandela is admitted to the University of Fort Hare, a black institution. Two years later he will be expelled for leading a student protest.
  • Nelson Mandela first Marriage

    Nelson Mandela first Marriage
    Mr. Mandela marries Evelyn Ntoko Mase. They had four kids. They then divorced beacuse the polictiacal activivst put strain on their relatonship.
  • Forms the A.N.C. Youth League

    Forms the A.N.C. Youth League
    Mr. Mandela and other activists form the African National Congress Youth League after becoming disenchanted with the cautious approach of the older members of the A.N.C. The league’s formation marks the shift of the congress to a mass movement. But its manifesto, so charged with pan-African nationalism, offends some non-black sympathizers.
  • National Party Takes Power, Laying Foundation for Apartheid

    National Party Takes Power, Laying Foundation for Apartheid
    The National Party takes power in South Africa and sets out to construct apartheid, a system of strict racial segregation and white domination.
  • Mandela Starts Law Practice

    Mandela Starts Law Practice
    Mr. Mandela and Oliver Tambo open South Africa’s first black law practice.
  • Mandela Arrested on Treason Charges

    Mandela Arrested on Treason Charges
    Mr. Mandela is arrested at his home and charged with treason, along with 155 others who called for a nonracial state in South Africa.
  • During Trial, a Second Marriage

    During Trial, a Second Marriage
    In the midst of Mr. Mandela’s trial on treason charges, he marries Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela, 16 years his junior. They had two daughters but national drama had seperated them forcing them to get divorced.
  • Killings in Sharpeville

    Killings in Sharpeville
    The police fire on a demonstration in Sharpeville, killing 69 people and wounding 181. After the shooting, the South African government bans black political groups and gatherings, and arrests thousands. The A.N.C. is among the banned groups. Its members go underground and begin planning a campaign of direct attacks on the apartheid government.
  • Acquitted of Treason

    Acquitted of Treason
    Mr. Mandela and his co-defendants are acquitted of treason. Fearing he will be arrested again, Mr. Mandela goes underground.
  • Mandela Helps Form Guerrilla Army

    Mandela Helps Form Guerrilla Army
    Mr. Mandela and other A.N.C. leaders form a military wing called Umkhonto we Sizwe, or Spear of the Nation. Mr. Mandela becomes the first commander in chief of the guerrilla army. He will train to fight, work to obtain weapons for the group, and come to be known as the Black Pimpernel, but he will never see combat.
  • Mandela Arrested Again

    Mandela Arrested Again
    Mr. Mandela is arrested after returning to South Africa from a trip abroad. At the time of his arrest, he had been living underground for 17 months. He is convicted of leaving the country illegally and incitement to strike, and is sentenced to five years in prison.
  • Government Raid in Rivonia

    Government Raid in Rivonia
    The police raid a farm in Rivonia, outside Johannesburg, where the A.N.C. had set up its headquarters. They find documents outlining the group’s plan for guerrilla warfare. Using the evidence found on the farm, the government charges Mr. Mandela and eight co-defendants with sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government. The ensuing trial, which became known as the Rivonia trial, establishes Mr. Mandela’s central role in the struggle against apartheid.
  • Sentenced to Life in Prison

    Sentenced to Life in Prison
    Mr. Mandela and seven others are convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Mr. Mandela is sent to Robben Island prison, seven miles off the coast of Cape Town. He will spend the next 18 years there.
  • Thousands of Students Protest Afrikaans Language in Soweto

    Thousands of Students Protest Afrikaans Language in Soweto
    Tens of thousands of students take to the streets of Soweto to oppose the use of Afrikaans as the language of instruction in black schools. The police fire on the protesters, setting off months of violence that will leave more than 570 people dead. The uprising is considered a turning point in the history of black resistance to apartheid.
  • Moved From an Isolated Prison

    Mr. Mandela and four other A.N.C. leaders are transferred from Robben Island to Pollsmoor Prison in the suburbs of Cape Town. While many believe the move is intended to lessen the influence of the famous prisoners, government officials later say they wanted a way to open a discreet line of communication with the men.
  • Refuses Pardon

    Refuses Pardon
    South Africa’s president, P. W. Botha, offers to free Mr. Mandela if he renounces violence. Mr. Mandela refuses, saying the government must first dismantle apartheid.
  • sent to another pirsion

    sent to another pirsion
    Mr. Mandela is transferred to the Victor Verster Prison Farm, about 50 miles from Cape Town. The South African government says he will not have to return to Pollsmoor Prison.
  • Meets With the South African President

    Meets With the South African President
    Mr. Mandela meets informally with Mr. Botha at the presidential office in Cape Town. It is the first publicly acknowledged meeting between Mr. Mandela and a government official outside prison, and leads to speculation that he will soon be released.
  • New President Pledges to Phase Out Apartheid

    New President Pledges to Phase Out Apartheid
    . W. de Klerk is sworn in as acting president of South Africa, replacing Mr. Botha, who suffered a stroke in January. Saying the country is about to enter an era of change, Mr. de Klerk reaffirms an earlier promise to phase out white rule.
  • Prominent Political Prisoners Released

    Prominent Political Prisoners Released
    The government frees eight of the country’s most prominent political prisoners, including Walter Sisulu, 77, a mentor to Mr. Mandela and his close friend, in a gesture that is widely seen as a trial run for Mr. Mandela’s release.
  • Mandela Freed

    Mr. Mandela, now 71, is freed without conditions, ending 27 and a half years of imprisonment. For Mr. de Klerk, enlisting Mr. Mandela in negotiations over a new constitution seems to be the surest way to achieve his stated goal: to end political domination by the white minority without replacing it with domination by the black majority.
  • A.N.C. Suspends Guerrilla Campaign

    In August ANC announces an end to its guerilla campaign against apartheid.
  • Deliberations Over Constitution Begin With Rocky Start

    Deliberations Over Constitution Begin With Rocky Start
    Negotiations begin to prepare an interim constitution based on full political equality. Mr. de Klerk and Mr. Mandela trade recriminations, with Mr. de Klerk criticizing Mr. Mandela for not disbanding the A.N.C.’s inactive guerrilla operation and Mr. Mandela saying that the president “has very little idea of what democracy is.”
  • Popular Black Leader Killed; Clashes Follow

    Popular Black Leader Killed; Clashes Follow
    Chris Hani, the popular black leader of the South African Communist Party, is shot and killed by a white man. At least seven people are killed in clashes over the following days. Mr. Mandela appears on national television and calls for calm, urging a stronger commitment to negotiations, a contrast to the A.N.C.’s confrontational reaction to the massacre in Boipatong the year before.
  • Mandela and de Klerk Share Nobel

    Mandela and de Klerk Share Nobel
    Mr. Mandela and Mr. de Klerk share the Nobel Peace Prize. The two men accept the award with the strained grace that has characterized their relationship, and Mr. Mandela declines to repeat his much-quoted assessment of Mr. de Klerk as a man of integrity.
  • A.N.C. Wins Majority in Election; Mandela Becomes President

    A.N.C. Wins Majority in Election; Mandela Becomes President
    General voting opens in the first election in South African history that includes black participation. Despite months of violence leading up to the vote, not a single person is reported killed in election-related violence. When the voting concludes on April 29, the A.N.C. has won more than 62 percent of the vote, earning 252 of the 400 seats in Parliament's National Assembly. Mr. Mandela is chosen as president without opposition.
  • Reconciliation Through Rugby

    South Africa’s national rugby team wins the World Cup final. The team, the Springboks, was banned from international competition until 1992, and was long seen as a symbol of oppression by many black South Africans. Mr. Mandela’s call for blacks to support the team is hailed as a masterly move toward racial reconciliation. He congratulates the team while wearing a green Springboks jersey, in a stadium full of cheering white rugby fans.
  • Third Marriage at 80

    Third Marriage at 80
    On his 80th birthday, Mr. Mandela marries Graça Machel, the 52-year-old widow of the former president of Mozambique, Samora Machel.
  • Succeeded by Thabo Mbeki

    Succeeded by Thabo Mbeki
    After five years with Mr. Mandela at the helm, the country still faces serious problems of poverty and crime, but it has made the transition to democracy while maintaining widespread respect for the law and avoiding political revenge killings.
  • Retires From the Public Eye

    Retires From the Public Eye
    Mr. Mandela says he will severely reduce his public activities so he can spend his remaining years resting and writing. A month shy of 86, he is increasingly frail and has trouble walking.
  • Recurring Health Problems Stir Global Concern

    Recurring Health Problems Stir Global Concern
    Mr. Mandela is hospitalized for nearly 19 days, being treated for pneumonia and having an operation for gallstones,
  • Mandela Dies at 95

    Mandela Dies at 95
    Nelson Mandela, who led the emancipation of South Africa from white minority rule and served as his country’s first black president, died at 95.
  • Breakup of Second Marriage

    Breakup of Second Marriage
    Mr. Mandela announces that he and his wife, Winnie, have agreed to separate. While saying that his love for Mrs. Mandela “remains undiminished,” Mr. Mandela makes clear that he considers the separation permanent.
  • Secret Meetings With Government Begin

    Kobie Coetsee, South Africa’s minister of justice, police and prisons, visits Mr. Mandela, who is in a hospital undergoing surgery for an enlarged prostate. Secret negotiations between Mr. Mandela and the government will continue for years without the public’s knowledge.