Xhosa: [xoliɬaˈɬa manˈdɛla]; 18 July 1918 – 5
December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary,
political leader, and philanthropist, who served as President of South
Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of
state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic
election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of
apartheid by tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial
reconciliation. Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he
served as President of the
African National Congress
African National Congress (ANC) party from
1991 to 1997.
Mandela was born to the
Thembu royal family in Mvezo, British
South Africa. He studied law at the
University of Fort Hare
University of Fort Hare and the
University of the Witwatersrand
University of the Witwatersrand before working as a lawyer in
Johannesburg. There he became involved in anti-colonial and African
nationalist politics, joining the ANC in 1943 and co-founding its
Youth League in 1944. After the National Party's white-only government
established apartheid, a system of racial segregation that privileged
whites, he and the ANC committed themselves to its overthrow. Mandela
was appointed President of the ANC's Transvaal branch, rising to
prominence for his involvement in the 1952
Defiance Campaign and the
1955 Congress of the People. He was repeatedly arrested for seditious
activities and was unsuccessfully prosecuted in the 1956 Treason
Trial. Influenced by Marxism, he secretly joined the banned South
African Communist Party (SACP). Although initially committed to
non-violent protest, in association with the SACP he co-founded the
Umkhonto we Sizwe
Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1961 and led a sabotage campaign against
the government. In 1962, he was arrested for conspiring to overthrow
the state and sentenced to life imprisonment in the
Mandela served 27 years in prison, initially on Robben Island, and
Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. Amid growing
domestic and international pressure, and with fears of a racial civil
F. W. de Klerk
F. W. de Klerk released him in 1990.
Mandela and de
Klerk negotiated an end to apartheid and organised the 1994
multiracial general election in which
Mandela led the ANC to victory
and became President. Leading a broad coalition government which
promulgated a new constitution,
Mandela emphasised reconciliation
between the country's racial groups and created the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses.
Economically, Mandela's administration retained its predecessor's
liberal framework despite his own socialist beliefs, also introducing
measures to encourage land reform, combat poverty, and expand
healthcare services. Internationally, he acted as mediator in the Pan
Am Flight 103 bombing trial and served as Secretary-General of the
Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999. He declined a second
presidential term and in 1999 was succeeded by his deputy, Thabo
Mandela became an elder statesman and focused on combating
HIV/AIDS through the charitable
Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Mandela was a controversial figure for much of his life. Although
critics on the right denounced him as a communist terrorist and those
on the radical left deemed him too eager to negotiate and reconcile
with apartheid's supporters, he gained international acclaim for his
activism. Widely regarded as an icon of democracy and social justice,
he received more than 250 honours—including the Nobel Peace
Prize—and became the subject of a cult of personality. He is held in
deep respect within South Africa, where he is often referred to by his
Xhosa clan name, Madiba, and described as the "Father of the Nation".
1 Early life
1.1 Childhood: 1918–34
1.2 Clarkebury, Healdtown, and Fort Hare: 1934–40
1.3 Arriving in Johannesburg: 1941–43
2 Revolutionary activity
2.1 Law studies and the ANC Youth League: 1943–49
Defiance Campaign and Transvaal ANC Presidency: 1950–54
2.3 Congress of the People and the Treason Trial: 1955–61
2.4 MK, the SACP, and African tour: 1961–62
3.1 Arrest and
Rivonia trial: 1962–64
3.2 Robben Island: 1964–82
3.3 Pollsmoor Prison: 1982–88
Victor Verster Prison
Victor Verster Prison and release: 1988–90
4 End of apartheid
4.1 Early negotiations: 1990–91
4.2 CODESA talks: 1991–92
4.3 General election: 1994
5 Presidency of South Africa: 1994–99
5.1 National reconciliation
5.2 Domestic programmes
5.3 Foreign affairs
5.4 Withdrawing from politics
6.1 Continued activism and philanthropy: 1999–2004
6.2 "Retiring from retirement": 2004–13
6.3 Illness and death: 2011–2013
7 Political ideology
Socialism and Marxism
8 Personality and personal life
9 Reception and legacy
9.1 Orders, decorations, and monuments
9.2 Biographies and popular media
11 External links
Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in the village of
Mvezo in Umtata,
then part of South Africa's Cape Province. Given the forename
Rolihlahla, a Xhosa term colloquially meaning "troublemaker", in
later years he became known by his clan name, Madiba. His
patrilineal great-grandfather, Ngubengcuka, was king of the Thembu
people in the Transkeian Territories of South Africa's modern Eastern
Cape province. One of Ngubengcuka's sons, named Mandela, was
Nelson's grandfather and the source of his surname. Because Mandela
was the king's child by a wife of the Ixhiba clan, a so-called
"Left-Hand House", the descendants of his cadet branch of the royal
family were morganatic, ineligible to inherit the throne but
recognised as hereditary royal councillors.
Nelson Mandela's father, Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa Mandela, was a local
chief and councillor to the monarch; he was appointed to the position
in 1915, after his predecessor was accused of corruption by a
governing white magistrate. In 1926, Gadla was also sacked for
corruption, but Nelson was told that his father had lost his job for
standing up to the magistrate's unreasonable demands. A devotee of
the god Qamata, Gadla was a polygamist with four wives, four sons
and nine daughters, who lived in different villages. Nelson's mother
was Gadla's third wife, Nosekeni Fanny, daughter of Nkedama of the
Right Hand House and a member of the amaMpemvu clan of the Xhosa.
No one in my family had ever attended school [...] On the first day of
school my teacher, Miss Mdingane, gave each of us an English name.
This was the custom among Africans in those days and was undoubtedly
due to the British bias of our education. That day, Miss Mdingane told
me that my new name was Nelson. Why this particular name I have no
— Mandela, 1994
Mandela later stated that his early life was dominated by traditional
Thembu custom and taboo. He grew up with two sisters in his
mother's kraal in the village of Qunu, where he tended herds as a
cattle-boy and spent much time outside with other boys. Both his
parents were illiterate, but being a devout Christian, his mother sent
him to a local Methodist school when he was about seven. Baptised a
Mandela was given the English forename of "Nelson" by his
Mandela was about nine, his father came to stay at
Qunu, where he died of an undiagnosed ailment which
to be lung disease. Feeling "cut adrift", he later said that he
inherited his father's "proud rebelliousness" and "stubborn sense of
Mandela's mother took him to the "Great Place" palace at Mqhekezweni,
where he was entrusted to the guardianship of the
Thembu regent, Chief
Jongintaba Dalindyebo. Although he did not see his mother again for
Mandela felt that Jongintaba and his wife Noengland
treated him as their own child, raising him alongside their son,
Justice, and daughter, Nomafu. As
Mandela attended church services
every Sunday with his guardians, Christianity became a significant
part of his life. He attended a Methodist mission school located
next to the palace, where he studied English, Xhosa, history and
geography. He developed a love of African history, listening to
the tales told by elderly visitors to the palace, and was influenced
by the anti-imperialist rhetoric of a visiting chief, Joyi. At the
time he nevertheless considered the European colonialists not as
oppressors but as benefactors who had brought education and other
benefits to southern Africa. Aged 16, he, Justice and several
other boys travelled to Tyhalarha to undergo the ulwaluko circumcision
ritual that symbolically marked their transition from boys to men;
afterwards he was given the name Dalibunga.
Clarkebury, Healdtown, and Fort Hare: 1934–40
Photograph of Mandela, taken in Umtata in 1937
Intending to gain skills needed to become a privy councillor for the
Thembu royal house, in 1933
Mandela began his secondary education at
Clarkebury Methodist High School in Engcobo, a Western-style
institution that was the largest school for black Africans in
Thembuland. Made to socialise with other students on an equal
basis, he claimed that he lost his "stuck up" attitude, becoming best
friends with a girl for the first time; he began playing sports and
developed his lifelong love of gardening. He completed his Junior
Certificate in two years, and in 1937 moved to Healdtown, the
Methodist college in
Fort Beaufort attended by most
including Justice. The headmaster emphasised the superiority of
English culture and government, but
Mandela became increasingly
interested in native African culture, making his first non-Xhosa
friend, a speaker of Sotho, and coming under the influence of one of
his favourite teachers, a Xhosa who broke taboo by marrying a
Mandela spent much of his spare time at Healdtown as a
long-distance runner and boxer, and in his second year he became a
With Jongintaba's backing, in 1939
Mandela began work on a BA degree
at the University of Fort Hare, an elite black institution in Alice,
Eastern Cape, with around 150 students. There he studied English,
anthropology, politics, native administration, and
Roman Dutch law in
his first year, desiring to become an interpreter or clerk in the
Native Affairs Department.
Mandela stayed in the Wesley House
dormitory, befriending his own kinsman, K. D. Matanzima, as well as
Oliver Tambo, who became a close friend and comrade for decades to
come. He took up ballroom dancing, performed in a drama
society play about Abraham Lincoln, and gave
Bible classes in the
local community as part of the Student Christian Association.
Although he had friends connected to the African National Congress
(ANC) who wanted
South Africa to be independent of the British Empire,
Mandela avoided any involvement with the anti-imperialist
movement, and became a vocal supporter of the British war effort
Second World War
Second World War broke out. He helped to found a
first-year students' house committee which challenged the dominance of
the second-years, and at the end of his first year became involved
Students' Representative Council (SRC) boycott against the
quality of food, for which he was suspended from the university; he
never returned to complete his degree.
Arriving in Johannesburg: 1941–43
Returning to Mqhekezweni in December 1940,
Mandela found that
Jongintaba had arranged marriages for him and Justice; dismayed, they
Johannesburg via Queenstown, arriving in April 1941.
Mandela found work as a night watchman at Crown Mines, his "first
sight of South African capitalism in action", but was fired when the
induna (headman) discovered that he was a runaway. He stayed with
a cousin in George Goch Township, who introduced
Mandela to realtor
and ANC activist Walter Sisulu. The latter secured
Mandela a job as an
articled clerk at the law firm of Witkin, Sidelsky and Eidelman, a
company run by Lazar Sidelsky, a liberal Jew sympathetic to the ANC's
cause. At the firm,
Mandela befriended Gaur Radebe—a Xhosa
member of the ANC and Communist Party—and Nat Bregman, a Jewish
communist who became his first white friend.
Communist Party gatherings, where he was impressed that Europeans,
Africans, Indians, and Coloureds mixed as equals. He later stated that
he did not join the Party because its atheism conflicted with his
Christian faith, and because he saw the South African struggle as
being racially based rather than as class warfare. To continue his
Mandela signed up to a University of South Africa
correspondence course, working on his bachelor's degree at night.
Earning a small wage,
Mandela rented a room in the house of the Xhoma
family in the Alexandra township; despite being rife with poverty,
crime and pollution, Alexandra always remained a special place for
him. Although embarrassed by his poverty, he briefly dated a Swazi
woman before unsuccessfully courting his landlord's daughter. To
save money and be closer to downtown Johannesburg,
Mandela moved into
the compound of the Witwatersrand Native Labour Association, living
among miners of various tribes; as the compound was visited by various
chiefs, he once met the Queen
Regent of Basutoland. In late 1941,
Jongintaba visited Johannesburg—there forgiving
Mandela for running
away—before returning to Thembuland, where he died in the winter of
Mandela and Justice arrived a day late for the funeral.
After he passed his BA exams in early 1943,
Mandela returned to
Johannesburg to follow a political path as a lawyer rather than become
a privy councillor in Thembuland. He later stated that he
experienced no epiphany, but that he "simply found [himself] doing so,
and could not do otherwise."
Law studies and the ANC Youth League: 1943–49
Mandela began studying law at the University of the Witwatersrand,
where he was the only black African student and faced racism. There,
he befriended liberal and communist European, Jewish, and Indian
students, among them
Joe Slovo and Ruth First. Becoming
increasingly politicised, in August 1943
Mandela marched in support of
a successful bus boycott to reverse fare rises. Joining the ANC,
he was increasingly influenced by Sisulu, spending time with other
activists at Sisulu's Orlando house, including his old friend Oliver
Tambo. In 1943,
Mandela met Anton Lembede, an ANC member
affiliated with the "Africanist" branch of African nationalism, which
was virulently opposed to a racially united front against colonialism
and imperialism or to an alliance with the communists. Despite his
friendships with non-blacks and communists,
Mandela embraced Lembede's
views, believing that black Africans should be entirely independent in
their struggle for political self-determination. Deciding on the
need for a youth wing to mass-mobilise Africans in opposition to their
Mandela was among a delegation that approached ANC
Alfred Bitini Xuma on the subject at his home in Sophiatown;
African National Congress
African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) was founded on
Easter Sunday 1944 in the Bantu Men's Social Centre, with Lembede as
Mandela as a member of its executive committee.
Mandela and Evelyn in July 1944, at Walter and Albertina Sisulu's
wedding party in the Bantu Men's Social Centre.
At Sisulu's house,
Mandela met Evelyn Mase, a trainee nurse and ANC
activist from Engcobo, Transkei. Entering a relationship and marrying
in October 1944, they initially lived with her relatives until moving
into a rented house in the township of Orlando in early 1946.
Their first child, Madiba "Thembi" Thembekile, was born in February
1945; a daughter, Makaziwe, was born in 1947 but died of meningitis
nine months later.
Mandela enjoyed home life, welcoming his mother
and his sister, Leabie, to stay with him. In early 1947, his three
years of articles ended at Witkin, Sidelsky and Eidelman, and he
decided to become a full-time student, subsisting on loans from the
Bantu Welfare Trust.
In July 1947,
Mandela rushed Lembede, who was ill, to hospital, where
he died; he was succeeded as ANCYL president by the more moderate
Peter Mda, who agreed to co-operate with communists and non-blacks,
Mandela ANCYL secretary.
Mandela disagreed with Mda's
approach, and in December 1947 supported an unsuccessful measure to
expel communists from the ANCYL, considering their ideology
un-African. In 1947,
Mandela was elected to the executive
committee of the ANC's
Transvaal Province branch, serving under
regional president C. S. Ramohanoe. When Ramohanoe acted against the
wishes of the committee by co-operating with Indians and communists,
Mandela was one of those who forced his resignation.
In the South African general election in 1948, in which only whites
were permitted to vote, the Afrikaner-dominated Herenigde Nasionale
Daniel François Malan
Daniel François Malan took power, soon uniting with the
Afrikaner Party to form the National Party. Openly racialist, the
party codified and expanded racial segregation with new apartheid
legislation. Gaining increasing influence in the ANC,
his party cadre allies began advocating direct action against
apartheid, such as boycotts and strikes, influenced by the tactics
already employed by South Africa's Indian community. Xuma did not
support these measures and was removed from the presidency in a vote
of no confidence, replaced by
James Moroka and a more militant
executive committee containing Sisulu, Mda, Tambo, and Godfrey
Mandela later related that he and his colleagues had
"guided the ANC to a more radical and revolutionary path." Having
devoted his time to politics,
Mandela failed his final year at
Witwatersrand three times; he was ultimately denied his degree in
Defiance Campaign and Transvaal ANC Presidency: 1950–54
The ANC's tricolour flag; black for the people, green for the land,
and gold for the resources of Africa
Mandela took Xuma's place on the ANC national executive in March
1950, and that same year was elected national president of the
ANCYL. In March, the Defend Free Speech Convention was held in
Johannesburg, bringing together African, Indian, and communist
activists to call a May Day general strike in protest against
apartheid and white minority rule.
Mandela opposed the strike because
it was multi-racial and not ANC-led, but a majority of black workers
took part, resulting in increased police repression and the
introduction of the Suppression of
Communism Act, 1950, affecting the
actions of all protest groups. At the ANC national conference of
December 1951, he continued arguing against a racially united front,
but was outvoted.
Mandela rejected Lembede's Africanism and embraced the
idea of a multi-racial front against apartheid. Influenced by
Moses Kotane and by the Soviet Union's support for wars
of national liberation, his mistrust of communism broke down and he
began reading literature by Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Mao Zedong,
eventually embracing the
Marxist philosophy of dialectical
materialism. Commenting on communism, he later stated that he
"found [himself] strongly drawn to the idea of a classless society
which, to [his] mind, was similar to traditional
African culture where
life was shared and communal." In April 1952,
Mandela began work
at the H.M. Basner law firm, which was owned by a communist,
although his increasing commitment to work and activism meant he spent
less time with his family.
In 1952, the ANC began preparation for a joint Defiance Campaign
against apartheid with Indian and communist groups, founding a
National Voluntary Board to recruit volunteers. The campaign was
designed to follow the path of nonviolent resistance influenced by
Mahatma Gandhi; some supported this for ethical reasons, but Mandela
instead considered it pragmatic. At a
Durban rally on 22 June,
Mandela addressed an assembled crowd of 10,000, initiating the
campaign protests, for which he was arrested and briefly interned in
Marshall Square prison. These events established
Mandela as one of
the best-known black political figures in South Africa. With
further protests, the ANC's membership grew from 20,000 to 100,000;
the government responded with mass arrests and introduced the Public
Safety Act, 1953 to permit martial law. In May, authorities banned
Transvaal ANC President
J. B. Marks from making public appearances;
unable to maintain his position, he recommended
Mandela as his
successor. Although Africanists opposed his candidacy,
elected regional president in October.
Mandela's former home in the
Johannesburg township of Soweto
In July 1952,
Mandela was arrested under the Suppression of Communism
Act and stood trial as one of the 21 accused—among them Moroka,
Sisulu, and Yusuf Dadoo—in Johannesburg. Found guilty of "statutory
communism", a term that the government used to describe most
opposition to apartheid, their sentence of nine months' hard labour
was suspended for two years. In December,
Mandela was given a
six-month ban from attending meetings or talking to more than one
individual at a time, making his Transvaal ANC presidency impractical,
and during this period the
Defiance Campaign petered out. In
September 1953, Andrew Kunene read out Mandela's "No Easy Walk to
Freedom" speech at a Transvaal ANC meeting; the title was taken from a
quote by Indian independence leader Jawaharlal Nehru, a seminal
influence on Mandela's thought. The speech laid out a contingency plan
for a scenario in which the ANC was banned. This
Mandela Plan, or
M-Plan, involved dividing the organisation into a cell structure with
a more centralised leadership.
Mandela obtained work as an attorney for the firm Terblanche and
Briggish, before moving to the liberal-run Helman and Michel, passing
qualification exams to become a full-fledged attorney. In August
Mandela and Tambo opened their own law firm,
Mandela and Tambo,
operating in downtown Johannesburg. The only African-run law firm in
the country, it was popular with aggrieved blacks, often dealing with
cases of police brutality. Disliked by the authorities, the firm was
forced to relocate to a remote location after their office permit was
removed under the Group Areas Act; as a result, their clientele
dwindled. As a lawyer of aristocratic heritage,
Mandela was part
of Johannesburg's elite black middle-class, and accorded much respect
from the black community. Although a second daughter, Makaziwe
Phumia, was born in May 1954, Mandela's relationship with Evelyn
became strained, and she accused him of adultery. He may have had
affairs with ANC member
Lillian Ngoyi and secretary Ruth Mompati;
various individuals close to
Mandela in this period have stated that
the latter bore him a child. Disgusted by her son's behaviour,
Nosekeni returned to Transkei, while Evelyn embraced the Jehovah's
Witnesses and rejected Mandela's preoccupation with politics.
Congress of the People and the Treason Trial: 1955–61
Main article: Treason Trial
We, the people of South Africa, declare for all our country and the
world to know:
South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and
that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on
the will of the people.
— Opening words of the Freedom Charter
After taking part in the unsuccessful protest to prevent the forced
relocation of all black people from the
Sophiatown suburb of
Johannesburg in February 1955,
Mandela concluded that violent action
would prove necessary to end apartheid and white minority rule. On
his advice, Sisulu requested weaponry from the People's Republic of
China, which was denied. Although the Chinese government supported the
anti-apartheid struggle, they believed the movement insufficiently
prepared for guerilla warfare. With the involvement of the South
African Indian Congress, the
Coloured People's Congress, the South
African Congress of Trade Unions and the Congress of Democrats, the
ANC planned a Congress of the People, calling on all South Africans to
send in proposals for a post-apartheid era. Based on the responses, a
Freedom Charter was drafted by Rusty Bernstein, calling for the
creation of a democratic, non-racialist state with the nationalisation
of major industry. The charter was adopted at a June 1955 conference
in Kliptown; 3,000 delegates attended the event, which was forcibly
closed down by police. The tenets of the
Freedom Charter remained
important for Mandela, and in 1956 he described it as "an inspiration
to the people of South Africa".
Following the end of a second ban in September 1955,
Mandela went on a
working holiday to
Transkei to discuss the implications of the Bantu
Authorities Act, 1951 with local tribal leaders, also visiting his
mother and Noengland before proceeding to Cape Town. In March 1956
he received his third ban on public appearances, restricting him to
Johannesburg for five years, but he often defied it. Mandela's
marriage broke down and Evelyn left him, taking their children to live
with her brother. Initiating divorce proceedings in May 1956, she
Mandela had physically abused her; he denied the
allegations, and fought for custody of their children. She
withdrew her petition of separation in November, but
Mandela filed for
divorce in January 1958; the divorce was finalised in March, with the
children placed in Evelyn's care. During the divorce proceedings,
he began courting a social worker, Winnie Madikizela, whom he married
in Bizana in June 1958. She later became involved in ANC activities,
spending several weeks in prison. Together they had two children:
Zenani, born in February 1959, and Zindziswa, born in December
An apartheid sign; apartheid legislation impacted all areas of life
In December 1956,
Mandela was arrested alongside most of the ANC
national executive, and accused of "high treason" against the state.
Johannesburg Prison amid mass protests, they underwent a
preparatory examination before being granted bail. The defence's
refutation began in January 1957, overseen by defence lawyer Vernon
Berrangé, and continued until the case was adjourned in September. In
Oswald Pirow was appointed to prosecute the case, and in
February the judge ruled that there was "sufficient reason" for the
defendants to go on trial in the Transvaal Supreme Court. The
Treason Trial began in
Pretoria in August 1958, with the
defendants successfully applying to have the three judges—all linked
to the governing National Party—replaced. In August, one charge was
dropped, and in October the prosecution withdrew its indictment,
submitting a reformulated version in November which argued that the
ANC leadership committed high treason by advocating violent
revolution, a charge the defendants denied.
In April 1959, Africanists dissatisfied with the ANC's united front
approach founded the
Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC);
with the PAC's racially exclusionary views, describing them as
"immature" and "naïve". Both parties took part in an anti-pass
campaign in early 1960, in which Africans burned the passes that they
were legally obliged to carry. One of the PAC-organised demonstrations
was fired upon by police, resulting in the deaths of 69 protesters in
the Sharpeville massacre. The incident brought international
condemnation of the government and resulted in rioting throughout
South Africa, with
Mandela publicly burning his pass in
Responding to the unrest, the government implemented state of
emergency measures, declaring martial law and banning the ANC and PAC;
in March, they arrested
Mandela and other activists, imprisoning them
for five months without charge in the unsanitary conditions of the
Pretoria Local prison. Imprisonment caused problems for Mandela
and his co-defendants in the Treason Trial; their lawyers could not
reach them, and so it was decided that the lawyers would withdraw in
protest until the accused were freed from prison when the state of
emergency was lifted in late August 1960. Over the following
Mandela used his free time to organise an All-In African
Conference near Pietermaritzburg, Natal, in March 1961, at which 1,400
anti-apartheid delegates met, agreeing on a stay-at-home strike to
mark 31 May, the day
South Africa became a republic. On 29 March
1961, six years after the
Treason Trial began, the judges produced a
verdict of not guilty, ruling that there was insufficient evidence to
convict the accused of "high treason", since they had advocated
neither communism nor violent revolution; the outcome embarrassed the
MK, the SACP, and African tour: 1961–62
Thatched room at Liliesleaf Farm, where
Disguised as a chauffeur,
Mandela travelled around the country
incognito, organising the ANC's new cell structure and the planned
mass stay-at-home strike. Referred to as the "Black Pimpernel" in the
press—a reference to Emma Orczy's 1905 novel The Scarlet
Pimpernel—a warrant for his arrest was put out by the police.
Mandela held secret meetings with reporters, and after the government
failed to prevent the strike, he warned them that many anti-apartheid
activists would soon resort to violence through groups like the PAC's
Poqo. He believed that the ANC should form an armed group to
channel some of this violence in a controlled direction, convincing
both ANC leader Albert Luthuli—who was morally opposed to
violence—and allied activist groups of its necessity.
Inspired by the actions of Fidel Castro's
26th of July Movement
26th of July Movement in the
Cuban Revolution, in 1961 Mandela, Sisulu, and Slovo co-founded
Umkhonto we Sizwe
Umkhonto we Sizwe ("Spear of the Nation", abbreviated MK). Becoming
chairman of the militant group,
Mandela gained ideas from literature
on guerilla warfare by Marxist militants Mao and
Che Guevara as well
as from the military theorist Carl von Clausewitz. Although
initially declared officially separate from the ANC so as not to taint
the latter's reputation, MK was later widely recognised as the party's
armed wing. Most early MK members were white communists who were
able to conceal
Mandela in their homes; after hiding in communist
Wolfie Kodesh's flat in Berea,
Mandela moved to the communist-owned
Liliesleaf Farm in Rivonia, there joined by Raymond Mhlaba, Slovo, and
Bernstein, who put together the MK constitution. Although in
Mandela denied, for political reasons, ever being a member
of the Communist Party, historical research published in 2011 strongly
suggested that he had joined in the late 1950s or early 1960s.
This was confirmed by both the SACP and the ANC after Mandela's death.
According to the SACP, he was not only a member of the party, but also
served on its Central Committee.
We of Umkhonto have always sought to achieve liberation without
bloodshed and civil clash. We hope, even at this late hour, that our
first actions will awaken everyone to a realization of the dangerous
situation to which Nationalist policy is leading. We hope that we will
bring the Government and its supporters to their senses before it is
too late, so that both government and its policies can be changed
before matters reach the desperate stage of civil war.
— Statement released by MK to announce the start of their sabotage
Operating through a cell structure, MK planned to carry out acts of
sabotage that would exert maximum pressure on the government with
minimum casualties; they sought to bomb military installations, power
plants, telephone lines, and transport links at night, when civilians
were not present.
Mandela stated that they chose sabotage because it
was the least harmful action, did not involve killing, and offered the
best hope for racial reconciliation afterwards; he nevertheless
acknowledged that should this have failed then guerrilla warfare might
have been necessary. Soon after ANC leader Luthuli was awarded
the Nobel Peace Prize, MK publicly announced its existence with 57
bombings on Dingane's Day (16 December) 1961, followed by further
attacks on New Year's Eve.
The ANC decided to send
Mandela as a delegate to the February 1962
meeting of the Pan-African Freedom Movement for East, Central and
Southern Africa (PAFMECSA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Leaving
South Africa in secret via Bechuanaland, on his way
Tanganyika and met with its president, Julius Nyerere. Arriving
Mandela met with Emperor
Haile Selassie I, and gave his
speech after Selassie's at the conference. After the symposium,
he travelled to Cairo, Egypt, admiring the political reforms of
President Gamal Abdel Nasser, and then went to Tunis, Tunisia, where
Habib Bourguiba gave him £5,000 for weaponry. He proceeded
to Morocco, Mali, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Senegal,
receiving funds from Liberian President
William Tubman and Guinean
President Ahmed Sékou Touré. Leaving Africa for London,
England, he met anti-apartheid activists, reporters, and prominent
politicians. Returning to Ethiopia, he began a six-month course
in guerrilla warfare, but completed only two months before being
South Africa by the ANC's leadership.
Rivonia trial: 1962–64
On 5 August 1962, police captured
Mandela along with fellow activist
Cecil Williams near Howick. Many MK members suspected that the
authorities had been tipped off with regard to Mandela's whereabouts,
Mandela himself gave these ideas little credence. In
later years, a former American diplomat revealed that the Central
Intelligence Agency, who feared Mandela's associations with
communists, had informed the South African police of his
location. Jailed in Johannesburg's Marshall Square prison,
Mandela was charged with inciting workers' strikes and leaving the
country without permission. Representing himself with Slovo as legal
Mandela intended to use the trial to showcase "the ANC's
moral opposition to racism" while supporters demonstrated outside the
court. Moved to Pretoria, where Winnie could visit him, he began
correspondence studies for a
Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the
University of London
University of London International Programmes. His hearing began
in October, but he disrupted proceedings by wearing a traditional
kaross, refusing to call any witnesses, and turning his plea of
mitigation into a political speech. Found guilty, he was sentenced to
five years' imprisonment; as he left the courtroom, supporters sang
"Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika".
I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against
black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free
society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with
equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to
see realised. But if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am
prepared to die.
Rivonia Trial Speech, 1964
In July 1963, police raided Liliesleaf Farm, arresting those they
found there and uncovering paperwork documenting MK's activities, some
of which mentioned Mandela. The
Rivonia Trial began at Pretoria
Supreme Court in October, with
Mandela and his comrades charged with
four counts of sabotage and conspiracy to violently overthrow the
government; their chief prosecutor was Percy Yutar. Judge Quartus
de Wet soon threw out the prosecution's case for insufficient
evidence, but Yutar reformulated the charges, presenting his new case
from December 1963 until February 1964, calling 173 witnesses and
bringing thousands of documents and photographs to the trial.
Although four of the accused denied involvement with MK,
the other five accused admitted sabotage but denied that they had ever
agreed to initiate guerrilla war against the government. They
used the trial to highlight their political cause; at the opening of
the defence's proceedings,
Mandela gave his three-hour "I Am Prepared
to Die" speech. That speech—which was inspired by Castro's "History
Will Absolve Me"—was widely reported in the press despite official
censorship. The trial gained international attention; there were
global calls for the release of the accused from the United Nations
and World Peace Council, while the
University of London
University of London Union voted
Mandela to its presidency. On 12 June 1964, justice De Wet found
Mandela and two of his co-accused guilty on all four charges; although
the prosecution had called for the death sentence to be applied, the
judge instead condemned them to life imprisonment.
Robben Island: 1964–82
Mandela and his co-accused were transferred from
Pretoria to the
prison on Robben Island, remaining there for the next 18 years.
Isolated from non-political prisoners in Section B,
imprisoned in a damp concrete cell measuring 8 feet (2.4 m) by 7
feet (2.1 m), with a straw mat on which to sleep. Verbally
and physically harassed by several white prison wardens, the Rivonia
Trial prisoners spent their days breaking rocks into gravel, until
being reassigned in January 1965 to work in a lime quarry.
initially forbidden to wear sunglasses, and the glare from the lime
permanently damaged his eyesight. At night, he worked on his LLB
degree which he was obtaining from the
University of London
University of London through a
correspondence course with Wolsey Hall, Oxford, but newspapers were
forbidden, and he was locked in solitary confinement on several
occasions for the possession of smuggled news clippings. He was
initially classified as the lowest grade of prisoner, Class D, meaning
that he was permitted one visit and one letter every six months,
although all mail was heavily censored.
Lime quarry on
Robben Island where
Mandela and other prisoners were
forced to carry out hard labour
The political prisoners took part in work and hunger strikes—the
latter considered largely ineffective by Mandela—to improve prison
conditions, viewing this as a microcosm of the anti-apartheid
struggle. ANC prisoners elected him to their four-man "High
Organ" along with Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, and Raymond Mhlaba, and he
involved himself in a group representing all political prisoners
(including Eddie Daniels) on the island, Ulundi, through which he
forged links with PAC and
Yu Chi Chan Club members. Initiating
the "University of Robben Island", whereby prisoners lectured on their
own areas of expertise, he debated socio-political topics with his
Though attending Christian Sunday services,
Islam. He also studied Afrikaans, hoping to build a mutual
respect with the warders and convert them to his cause. Various
official visitors met with Mandela, most significantly the liberal
Helen Suzman of the Progressive Party,
who championed Mandela's cause outside of prison. In September
1970, he met British Labour Party politician Dennis Healey. South
African Minister of Justice
Jimmy Kruger visited in December 1974, but
Mandela did not get along with each other. His mother
visited in 1968, dying shortly after, and his firstborn son Thembi
died in a car accident the following year;
Mandela was forbidden from
attending either funeral. His wife was rarely able to see him,
being regularly imprisoned for political activity, and his daughters
first visited in December 1975. Winnie was released from prison in
1977 but was forcibly settled in
Brandfort and remained unable to see
From 1967 onwards, prison conditions improved; black prisoners were
given trousers rather than shorts, games were permitted, and the
standard of their food was raised. In 1969, an escape plan for
Mandela was developed by Gordon Bruce, but it was abandoned after the
conspiracy was infiltrated by an agent of the South African Bureau of
State Security (BOSS), who hoped to see
Mandela shot during the
escape. In 1970, Commander Piet Badenhorst became commanding
officer. Mandela, seeing an increase in the physical and mental abuse
of prisoners, complained to visiting judges, who had Badenhorst
reassigned. He was replaced by Commander Willie Willemse, who
developed a co-operative relationship with
Mandela and was keen to
improve prison standards.
The inside of Mandela's prison cell as it was when he was imprisoned
in 1964 and his open cell window facing the prison yard on Robben
Island, now a national and World Heritage Site. Mandela's cell later
contained more furniture, including a bed from around 1973.
Mandela had become a Class A prisoner, which allowed him
greater numbers of visits and letters. He corresponded with
anti-apartheid activists like
Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Desmond
Tutu. That year, he began his autobiography, which was smuggled
to London, but remained unpublished at the time; prison authorities
discovered several pages, and his LLB study privileges were revoked
for four years. Instead, he devoted his spare time to gardening
and reading until the authorities permitted him to resume his LLB
degree studies in 1980.
By the late 1960s, Mandela's fame had been eclipsed by
Steve Biko and
Black Consciousness Movement (BCM). Seeing the ANC as ineffectual,
the BCM called for militant action, but following the
of 1976, many BCM activists were imprisoned on Robben Island.
Mandela tried to build a relationship with these young radicals,
although he was critical of their racialism and contempt for white
anti-apartheid activists. Renewed international interest in his
plight came in July 1978, when he celebrated his 60th birthday.
He was awarded an honorary doctorate in Lesotho, the Jawaharlal Nehru
Award for International Understanding in India in 1979, and the
Freedom of the City
Freedom of the City of Glasgow, Scotland in 1981. In March 1980,
the slogan "Free Mandela!" was developed by journalist Percy Qoboza,
sparking an international campaign that led the
UN Security Council
UN Security Council to
call for his release. Despite increasing foreign pressure, the
government refused, relying on its
Cold War allies US President Ronald
Reagan and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher; both considered
Mandela's ANC a terrorist organisation sympathetic to communism, and
supported its suppression.
Pollsmoor Prison: 1982–88
In April 1982,
Mandela was transferred to
Pollsmoor Prison in Tokai,
Cape Town, along with senior ANC leaders Walter Sisulu, Andrew
Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada, and Raymond Mhlaba; they believed that they
were being isolated to remove their influence on younger activists at
Robben Island. Conditions at Pollsmoor were better than at Robben
Mandela missed the camaraderie and scenery of the
island. Getting on well with Pollsmoor's commanding officer,
Mandela was permitted to create a roof garden;
he also read voraciously and corresponded widely, now permitted 52
letters a year. He was appointed patron of the multi-racial
United Democratic Front (UDF), founded to combat reforms implemented
by South African President P. W. Botha. Botha's National Party
government had permitted
Coloured and Indian citizens to vote for
their own parliaments, which had control over education, health, and
housing, but black Africans were excluded from the system; like
Mandela, the UDF saw this as an attempt to divide the anti-apartheid
movement on racial lines.
Mandela erected on London's
South Bank by the Greater London
Council administration of
Ken Livingstone in 1985
The early 1980s witnessed an escalation of violence across the
country, and many predicted civil war. This was accompanied by
economic stagnation as various multinational banks—under pressure
from an international lobby—had stopped investing in South Africa.
Numerous banks and Thatcher asked Botha to release Mandela—then at
the height of his international fame—to defuse the volatile
situation. Although considering
Mandela a dangerous
"arch-Marxist", in February 1985 Botha offered him a release from
prison if he "unconditionally rejected violence as a political
Mandela spurned the offer, releasing a statement through his
daughter Zindzi stating, "What freedom am I being offered while the
organisation of the people [ANC] remains banned? Only free men can
negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts."
Mandela underwent surgery on an enlarged prostate gland,
before being given new solitary quarters on the ground floor. He
was met by "seven eminent persons", an international delegation sent
to negotiate a settlement, but Botha's government refused to
co-operate, calling a state of emergency in June and initiating a
police crackdown on unrest. The anti-apartheid resistance fought
back, with the ANC committing 231 attacks in 1986 and 235 in
1987. The violence escalated as the government used the army and
police to combat the resistance, and provided covert support for
vigilante groups and the Zulu nationalist movement Inkatha, which was
involved in an increasingly violent struggle with the ANC.
Mandela requested talks with Botha but was denied, instead secretly
meeting with Minister of Justice
Kobie Coetsee in 1987, and having a
further 11 meetings over the next three years. Coetsee organised
Mandela and a team of four government figures
starting in May 1988; the team agreed to the release of political
prisoners and the legalisation of the ANC on the condition that they
permanently renounce violence, break links with the Communist Party,
and not insist on majority rule.
Mandela rejected these conditions,
insisting that the ANC would only end its armed activities when the
government renounced violence.
Mandela's 70th birthday in July 1988 attracted international
attention, including a tribute concert at London's Wembley Stadium
that was televised and watched by an estimated 200 million
viewers. Although presented globally as a heroic figure, he faced
personal problems when ANC leaders informed him that Winnie had set
herself up as head of a gang, the "
Mandela United Football Club",
which had been responsible for torturing and killing
opponents—including children—in Soweto. Though some encouraged him
to divorce her, he decided to remain loyal until she was found guilty
Victor Verster Prison
Victor Verster Prison and release: 1988–90
"Free Mandela" protest in East Berlin, 1986
Recovering from tuberculosis exacerbated by the dank conditions in his
cell, in December 1988
Mandela was moved to Victor Verster Prison
near Paarl. He was housed in the relative comfort of a warder's house
with a personal cook, and used the time to complete his LLB
degree. While there, he was permitted many visitors and organised
secret communications with exiled ANC leader Oliver Tambo.
In 1989, Botha suffered a stroke; although he would retain the state
presidency, he stepped down as leader of the National Party, to be
replaced by F. W. de Klerk. In a surprise move, Botha invited
Mandela to a meeting over tea in July 1989, an invitation Mandela
considered genial. Botha was replaced as state president by de
Klerk six weeks later; the new president believed that apartheid was
unsustainable and released a number of ANC prisoners. Following
the fall of the
Berlin Wall in November 1989, de Klerk called his
cabinet together to debate legalising the ANC and freeing Mandela.
Although some were deeply opposed to his plans, de Klerk met with
Mandela in December to discuss the situation, a meeting both men
considered friendly, before legalising all formerly banned political
parties in February 1990 and announcing Mandela's unconditional
release. Shortly thereafter, for the first time in 20 years,
Mandela were allowed to be published in South
Victor Verster Prison
Victor Verster Prison on 11 February,
Mandela held Winnie's
hand in front of amassed crowds and the press; the event was broadcast
live across the world. Driven to Cape Town's City Hall
through crowds, he gave a speech declaring his commitment to peace and
reconciliation with the white minority, but made it clear that the
ANC's armed struggle was not over, and would continue as "a purely
defensive action against the violence of apartheid". He expressed hope
that the government would agree to negotiations, so that "there may no
longer be the need for the armed struggle", and insisted that his main
focus was to bring peace to the black majority and give them the right
to vote in national and local elections. Staying at Tutu's
home, in the following days
Mandela met with friends, activists, and
press, giving a speech to an estimated 100,000 people at
Johannesburg's Soccer City.
End of apartheid
Main article: Negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa
Early negotiations: 1990–91
Luthuli House in Johannesburg, which became the ANC headquarters in
Mandela proceeded on an African tour, meeting supporters and
politicians in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Libya and Algeria, and
continuing to Sweden, where he was reunited with Tambo, and London,
where he appeared at the Nelson Mandela: An International Tribute for
South Africa concert at
Wembley Stadium in Wembley Park.
Encouraging foreign countries to support sanctions against the
apartheid government, in France he was welcomed by President François
Mitterrand, in Vatican City by Pope John Paul II, and in the United
Kingdom by Thatcher. In the United States, he met President George
H.W. Bush, addressed both Houses of Congress and visited eight cities,
being particularly popular among the African-American community.
In Cuba, he became friends with President Castro, whom he had long
admired. He met President
R. Venkataraman in India, President
Suharto in Indonesia, Prime Minister
Mahathir Mohamad in Malaysia, and
Bob Hawke in Australia. He visited Japan, but not the
Soviet Union, a longtime ANC supporter.
In May 1990,
Mandela led a multiracial ANC delegation into preliminary
negotiations with a government delegation of 11 Afrikaner men. Mandela
impressed them with his discussions of Afrikaner history, and the
negotiations led to the Groot Schuur Minute, in which the government
lifted the state of emergency. In August, Mandela—recognising
the ANC's severe military disadvantage—offered a ceasefire, the
Pretoria Minute, for which he was widely criticised by MK
activists. He spent much time trying to unify and build the ANC,
appearing at a
Johannesburg conference in December attended by 1600
delegates, many of whom found him more moderate than expected. At
the ANC's July 1991 national conference in Durban,
that the party had faults and announced his aim to build a "strong and
well-oiled task force" for securing majority rule. At the
conference, he was elected ANC President, replacing the ailing Tambo,
and a 50-strong multiracial, mixed gendered national executive was
Mandela was given an office in the newly purchased ANC headquarters at
Shell House, Johannesburg, and moved into Winnie's large Soweto
home. Their marriage was increasingly strained as he learned of
her affair with Dali Mpofu, but he supported her during her trial for
kidnapping and assault. He gained funding for her defence from the
International Defence and Aid Fund for Southern Africa and from Libyan
leader Muammar Gaddafi, but in June 1991 she was found guilty and
sentenced to six years in prison, reduced to two on appeal. On 13
Mandela publicly announced his separation from Winnie. The
ANC forced her to step down from the national executive for
misappropriating ANC funds;
Mandela moved into the mostly white
Johannesburg suburb of Houghton. Mandela's prospects for a
peaceful transition were further damaged by an increase in
"black-on-black" violence, particularly between ANC and Inkatha
supporters in KwaZulu-Natal, which resulted in thousands of deaths.
Mandela met with Inkatha leader Buthelezi, but the ANC prevented
further negotiations on the issue.
Mandela argued that there was a
"third force" within the state intelligence services fuelling the
"slaughter of the people" and openly blamed de Klerk—whom he
increasingly distrusted—for the
Sebokeng massacre. In September
1991, a national peace conference was held in
Johannesburg at which
Mandela, Buthelezi and de Klerk signed a peace accord, though the
CODESA talks: 1991–92
The Convention for a Democratic
South Africa (CODESA) began in
December 1991 at the
Johannesburg World Trade Center, attended by 228
delegates from 19 political parties. Although
Cyril Ramaphosa led the
Mandela remained a key figure, and after de Klerk
used the closing speech to condemn the ANC's violence, he took to the
stage to denounce de Klerk as the "head of an illegitimate,
discredited minority regime". Dominated by the National Party and ANC,
little negotiation was achieved. CODESA 2 was held in May 1992,
at which de Klerk insisted that post-apartheid
South Africa must use a
federal system with a rotating presidency to ensure the protection of
Mandela opposed this, demanding a unitary system
governed by majority rule. Following the
Boipatong massacre of
ANC activists by government-aided Inkatha militants,
off the negotiations, before attending a meeting of the Organisation
of African Unity in Senegal, at which he called for a special session
UN Security Council
UN Security Council and proposed that a UN peacekeeping force
be stationed in
South Africa to prevent "state terrorism".
Calling for domestic mass action, in August the ANC organised the
largest-ever strike in South African history, and supporters marched
De Klerk and
Mandela shake hands at the World Economic Forum, 1992
Following the Bisho massacre, in which 28 ANC supporters and one
soldier were shot dead by the
Ciskei Defence Force
Ciskei Defence Force during a protest
Mandela realised that mass action was leading to further
violence and resumed negotiations in September. He agreed to do so on
the conditions that all political prisoners be released, that Zulu
traditional weapons be banned, and that Zulu hostels would be fenced
off, the latter two measures intended to prevent further Inkatha
attacks; de Klerk reluctantly agreed. The negotiations agreed
that a multiracial general election would be held, resulting in a
five-year coalition government of national unity and a constitutional
assembly that gave the National Party continuing influence. The ANC
also conceded to safeguarding the jobs of white civil servants; such
concessions brought fierce internal criticism. The duo agreed on
an interim constitution based on a liberal democratic model,
guaranteeing separation of powers, creating a constitutional court,
and including a US-style bill of rights; it also divided the country
into nine provinces, each with its own premier and civil service, a
concession between de Klerk's desire for federalism and Mandela's for
The democratic process was threatened by the Concerned South Africans
Group (COSAG), an alliance of black ethnic-secessionist groups like
Inkatha and far-right Afrikaner parties; in June 1993, one of the
Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB)—attacked the Kempton
Park World Trade Centre. Following the murder of ANC activist
Mandela made a publicised speech to calm rioting, soon
after appearing at a mass funeral in
Soweto for Tambo, who had died of
a stroke. In July 1993, both
Mandela and de Klerk visited the US,
independently meeting President
Bill Clinton and each receiving the
Liberty Medal. Soon after,
Mandela and de Klerk were jointly
Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize in Norway. Influenced by Thabo
Mandela began meeting with big business figures, and played
down his support for nationalisation, fearing that he would scare away
much-needed foreign investment. Although criticised by socialist ANC
members, he had been encouraged to embrace private enterprise by
members of the Chinese and Vietnamese Communist parties at the January
World Economic Forum
World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
General election: 1994
Main article: South African general election, 1994
Mandela casting his vote in the 1994 election
With the election set for 27 April 1994, the ANC began campaigning,
opening 100 election offices and orchestrating People's Forums across
the country at which
Mandela could appear, as a popular figure with
great status among black South Africans. The ANC campaigned on a
Reconstruction and Development Programme
Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) to build a million
houses in five years, introduce universal free education and extend
access to water and electricity. The party's slogan was "a better life
for all", although it was not explained how this development would be
funded. With the exception of the
Weekly Mail and the New Nation,
South Africa's press opposed Mandela's election, fearing continued
ethnic strife, instead supporting the National or Democratic
Mandela devoted much time to fundraising for the ANC,
touring North America, Europe and Asia to meet wealthy donors,
including former supporters of the apartheid regime. He also
urged a reduction in the voting age from 18 to 14; rejected by the
ANC, this policy became the subject of ridicule.
Concerned that COSAG would undermine the election, particularly in the
wake of the conflict in Bophuthatswana and the Shell House
Massacre—incidents of violence involving the AWB and Inkatha,
Mandela met with Afrikaner politicians and generals,
including P. W. Botha,
Pik Botha and Constand Viljoen, persuading many
to work within the democratic system. With de Klerk, he also convinced
Inkatha's Buthelezi to enter the elections rather than launch a war of
secession. As leaders of the two major parties, de Klerk and
Mandela appeared on a televised debate; although de Klerk was widely
considered the better speaker at the event, Mandela's offer to shake
his hand surprised him, leading some commentators to deem it a victory
for Mandela. The election went ahead with little violence,
although an AWB cell killed 20 with car bombs. As widely expected, the
ANC won a sweeping victory, taking 63% of the vote, just short of the
two-thirds majority needed to unilaterally change the constitution.
The ANC was also victorious in seven provinces, with Inkatha and the
National Party each taking another.
Mandela voted at the
Ohlange High School
Ohlange High School in Durban, and though the ANC's victory assured
his election as President, he publicly accepted that the election had
been marred by instances of fraud and sabotage.
Presidency of South Africa: 1994–99
Main article: Presidency of Nelson Mandela
The newly elected National Assembly's first act was to formally elect
Mandela as South Africa's first black chief executive. His
inauguration took place in
Pretoria on 10 May 1994, televised to a
billion viewers globally. The event was attended by four thousand
guests, including world leaders from a wide range of geographic and
Mandela headed a Government of National
Unity dominated by the ANC—which had no experience of governing by
itself—but containing representatives from the National Party and
Inkatha. Under the Interim Constitution, Inkatha and the National
Party were entitled to seats in the government by virtue of winning at
least 20 seats. In keeping with earlier agreements, both de Klerk and
Thabo Mbeki were given the position of Deputy President.
Although Mbeki had not been his first choice for the job,
to rely heavily on him throughout his presidency, allowing him to
shape policy details. Moving into the presidential office at
Tuynhuys in Cape Town,
Mandela allowed de Klerk to retain the
presidential residence in the
Groote Schuur estate, instead settling
into the nearby Westbrooke manor, which he renamed "Genadendal",
meaning "Valley of Mercy" in Afrikaans. Retaining his Houghton
home, he also had a house built in his home village of Qunu, which he
visited regularly, walking around the area, meeting with locals, and
judging tribal disputes.
Aged 76, he faced various ailments, and although exhibiting continued
energy, he felt isolated and lonely. He often entertained
celebrities, such as Michael Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, and the Spice
Girls, and befriended ultra-rich businessmen, like Harry Oppenheimer
of Anglo-American as well as Queen
Elizabeth II on her March 1995
state visit to South Africa, resulting in strong criticism from ANC
anti-capitalists. Despite his opulent surroundings,
simply, donating a third of his R 552,000 annual income to the Nelson
Mandela Children's Fund, which he had founded in 1995. Although
dismantling press censorship, speaking out in favour of freedom of the
press, and befriending many journalists,
Mandela was critical of much
of the country's media, noting that it was overwhelmingly owned and
run by middle-class whites and believing that it focused too heavily
on scaremongering about crime.
In December 1994,
Mandela published Long Walk to Freedom, an
autobiography based around a manuscript he had written in prison,
augmented by interviews conducted with American journalist Richard
Stengel. In late 1994, he attended the 49th conference of the ANC
in Bloemfontein, at which a more militant national executive was
elected, among them Winnie Mandela; although she expressed an interest
in reconciling, Nelson initiated divorce proceedings in August
1995. By 1995, he had entered into a relationship with Graça
Machel, a Mozambican political activist 27 years his junior who was
the widow of former president Samora Machel. They had first met in
July 1990 when she was still in mourning, but their friendship grew
into a partnership, with Machel accompanying him on many of his
foreign visits. She turned down Mandela's first marriage proposal,
wanting to retain some independence and dividing her time between
Mozambique and Johannesburg.
Gracious but steely, [Mandela] steered a country in turmoil toward a
negotiated settlement: a country that days before its first democratic
election remained violent, riven by divisive views and personalities.
He endorsed national reconciliation, an idea he did not merely foster
in the abstract, but performed with panache and conviction in reaching
out to former adversaries. He initiated an era of hope that, while not
long-lasting, was nevertheless decisive, and he garnered the highest
international recognition and affection.
— Rita Barnard, The Cambridge Companion to Nelson Mandela
Presiding over the transition from apartheid minority rule to a
Mandela saw national reconciliation as the
primary task of his presidency. Having seen other post-colonial
African economies damaged by the departure of white elites, Mandela
worked to reassure South Africa's white population that they were
protected and represented in "the Rainbow Nation". Although his
Government of National Unity would be dominated by the ANC, he
attempted to create a broad coalition by appointing de Klerk as Deputy
President and appointing other National Party officials as ministers
for Agriculture, Energy, Environment, and Minerals and Energy, as well
as naming Buthelezi as Minister for Home Affairs. The other
cabinet positions were taken by ANC members, many of whom—like Joe
Modise, Alfred Nzo, Joe Slovo,
Mac Maharaj and Dullah Omar—had long
been comrades of Mandela, although others, such as
Tito Mboweni and
Jeff Radebe, were far younger. Mandela's relationship with de
Klerk was strained;
Mandela thought that de Klerk was intentionally
provocative, and de Klerk felt that he was being intentionally
humiliated by the president. In January 1995,
chastised him for awarding amnesty to 3,500 police officers just
before the election, and later criticised him for defending former
Minister of Defence
Magnus Malan when the latter was charged with
Mandela personally met with senior figures of the apartheid regime,
including Hendrik Verwoerd's widow, Betsie Schoombie, and lawyer Percy
Yutar, also laying a wreath by the statue of Afrikaner hero Daniel
Theron. Emphasising personal forgiveness and reconciliation, he
announced that "courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake
of peace." He encouraged black South Africans to get behind the
previously hated national rugby team, the Springboks, as South Africa
hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
Mandela wore a Springbok shirt at the
final against New Zealand, and after the Springboks won the match,
Mandela presented the trophy to captain Francois Pienaar, an
Afrikaner. This was widely seen as a major step in the reconciliation
of white and black South Africans; as de Klerk later put it, "Mandela
won the hearts of millions of white rugby fans." Mandela's
efforts at reconciliation assuaged the fears of whites, but also drew
criticism from more militant blacks. Among the latter was his
estranged wife, Winnie, who accused the ANC of being more interested
in appeasing the white community than in helping the black
Mandela oversaw the formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission
to investigate crimes committed under apartheid by both the government
and the ANC, appointing Tutu as its chair. To prevent the creation of
martyrs, the Commission granted individual amnesties in exchange for
testimony of crimes committed during the apartheid era. Dedicated in
February 1996, it held two years of hearings detailing rapes, torture,
bombings, and assassinations, before issuing its final report in
October 1998. Both de Klerk and Mbeki appealed to have parts of the
report suppressed, though only de Klerk's appeal was successful.
Mandela praised the Commission's work, stating that it "had helped us
move away from the past to concentrate on the present and the
Soweto constructed under the RDP program
Mandela's administration inherited a country with a huge disparity in
wealth and services between white and black communities. Of a
population of 40 million, around 23 million lacked electricity or
adequate sanitation, and 12 million lacked clean water supplies, with
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 below the poverty line. Government financial
reserves were nearly depleted, with a fifth of the national budget
being spent on debt repayment, meaning that the extent of the promised
Reconstruction and Development Programme
Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) was scaled back, with
none of the proposed nationalisation or job creation. In 1996,
the RDP was replaced with a new policy, Growth, Employment and
Redistribution (GEAR), which maintained South Africa's mixed economy
but placed an emphasis on economic growth through a framework of
market economics and the encouragement of foreign investment; many in
the ANC derided it as a neo-liberal policy that did not address social
inequality, no matter how
Mandela defended it. In adopting this
approach, Mandela's government adhered to the "Washington consensus"
advocated by the
World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Under Mandela's presidency, welfare spending increased by 13% in
1996/97, 13% in 1997/98, and 7% in 1998/99. The government
introduced parity in grants for communities, including disability
grants, child maintenance grants, and old-age pensions, which had
previously been set at different levels for South Africa's different
racial groups. In 1994, free healthcare was introduced for
children under six and pregnant women, a provision extended to all
those using primary level public sector health care services in
1996. By the 1999 election, the ANC could boast that due to
their policies, 3 million people were connected to telephone lines,
1.5 million children were brought into the education system, 500
clinics were upgraded or constructed, 2 million people were connected
to the electricity grid, water access was extended to 3 million
people, and 750,000 houses were constructed, housing nearly 3 million
Mandela on a visit to Brazil in 1998
The Land Reform Act 3 of 1996 safeguarded the rights of labour tenants
living on farms where they grew crops or grazed livestock. This
legislation ensured that such tenants could not be evicted without a
court order or if they were over the age of 65. Recognising that
arms manufacturing was a key industry for the South African economy,
Mandela endorsed the trade in weapons but brought in tighter
regulations surrounding Armscor to ensure that South African weaponry
was not sold to authoritarian regimes. Under Mandela's
administration, tourism was increasingly promoted, becoming a major
sector of the South African economy.
Edwin Cameron accused Mandela's government of doing
little to stem the
HIV/AIDS pandemic in the country; by 1999, 10% of
South Africa's population were HIV positive.
Mandela later admitted
that he had personally neglected the issue, in part due to public
reticence in discussing issues surrounding sex in South Africa, and
that he had instead left the issue for Mbeki to deal with.
Mandela also received criticism for failing to sufficiently combat
South Africa had one of the world's highest crime rates,
and the activities of international crime syndicates in the country
grew significantly throughout the decade. Mandela's
administration was also perceived as having failed to deal with the
problem of corruption.
Further problems were caused by the exodus of thousands of skilled
white South Africans from the country, who were escaping the
increasing crime rates, higher taxes, and the impact of positive
discrimination toward blacks in employment. This exodus resulted in a
brain drain, and
Mandela criticised those who left. At the same
South Africa experienced an influx of millions of illegal
migrants from poorer parts of Africa; although public opinion toward
these illegal immigrants was generally unfavourable, characterising
them as disease-spreading criminals who were a drain on resources,
Mandela called on South Africans to embrace them as "brothers and
Mandela expressed the view that "South Africa's future foreign
relations [should] be based on our belief that human rights should be
the core of international relations". Following the South African
Mandela encouraged other nations to resolve conflicts through
diplomacy and reconciliation. In September 1998,
appointed Secretary-General of the Non-Aligned Movement, who held
their annual conference in Durban. He used the event to criticise the
"narrow, chauvinistic interests" of the Israeli government in stalling
negotiations to end the
Israeli–Palestinian conflict and urged India
and Pakistan to negotiate to end the Kashmir conflict, for which he
was criticised by both Israel and India. Inspired by the region's
Mandela sought greater economic relations with East
Asia, in particular with Malaysia, although this was prevented by the
1997 Asian financial crisis. He extended diplomatic recognition
to the People's Republic of China (PRC), who were growing as an
economic force, and initially also to Taiwan, who were already
longstanding investors in the South African economy. However, under
pressure from the PRC, in November 1996 he cut recognition of Taiwan,
and in May 1999 paid an official visit to Beijing.
Mandela with US President Bill Clinton. Despite publicly criticising
him on several occasions,
Mandela liked Clinton, and personally
supported him during his impeachment proceedings.
Mandela attracted controversy for his close relationship with
Indonesian president Suharto, whose regime was responsible for mass
human rights abuses, although on a July 1997 visit to Indonesia he
Suharto to withdraw from the occupation of East
Timor. He also faced similar criticism from the West for his
government's trade links to Syria, Cuba, and Libya, and for his
personal friendships with Castro and Gaddafi. Castro visited in
1998 to widespread popular acclaim, and
Mandela met Gaddafi in Libya
to award him the Order of Good Hope. When Western governments and
media criticised these visits,
Mandela lambasted such criticism as
having racist undertones, and stated that "the enemies of
countries in the West are not our enemies."
Mandela hoped to
resolve the long-running dispute between Libya and the US and Britain
over bringing to trial the two Libyans,
Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and
Lamin Khalifah Fhimah, who were indicted in November 1991 and accused
of sabotaging Pan Am Flight 103.
Mandela proposed that they be tried
in a third country, which was agreed to by all parties; governed by
Scots law, the trial was held at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands in
April 1999, and found one of the two men guilty.
Mandela echoed Mbeki's calls for an "African Renaissance", and was
greatly concerned with issues on the continent. He took a soft
diplomatic approach to removing Sani Abacha's military junta in
Nigeria but later became a leading figure in calling for sanctions
when Abacha's regime increased human rights violations. In 1996,
he was appointed Chairman of the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) and initiated unsuccessful negotiations to end the
First Congo War
First Congo War in Zaire. He also played a key role as a mediator
in the ethnic conflict between
Hutu political groups in the
Burundian Civil War, helping to initiate a settlement which brought
increased stability to the country but did not end the ethnic
violence. In South Africa's first post-apartheid military
operation, troops were ordered in September 1998 into
protect the government of Prime Minister
Pakalitha Mosisili after a
disputed election prompted opposition uprisings. The action was not
Mandela himself, who was out of the country at the time,
but by Buthelezi, who was serving as acting president during Mandela's
Withdrawing from politics
In the latter part of his presidency,
Mandela increasingly relied on
his Deputy President,
Thabo Mbeki (pictured)
The new Constitution of
South Africa was agreed upon by parliament in
May 1996, enshrining a series of institutions to place checks on
political and administrative authority within a constitutional
democracy. De Klerk opposed the implementation of this
constitution, and that month he and the National Party withdrew from
the coalition government in protest, claiming that the ANC were not
treating them as equals. The ANC took over the cabinet positions
formerly held by the Nationalists, with Mbeki becoming sole Deputy
President. Inkatha remained part of the coalition, and when
Mandela and Mbeki were out of the country in September 1998,
Buthelezi was appointed "Acting President", marking an improvement in
his relationship with Mandela. Although
Mandela had often
governed decisively in his first two years as President, he had
subsequently increasingly delegated duties to Mbeki, retaining only a
close personal supervision of intelligence and security measures.
During a 1997 visit to London, he said that "the ruler of South
Africa, the de facto ruler, is Thabo Mbeki" and that he was "shifting
everything to him".
Mandela stepped down as ANC President at the party's December 1997
conference. He hoped that Ramaphosa would succeed him, believing Mbeki
to be too inflexible and intolerant of criticism, but the ANC elected
Mandela and the Executive supported Jacob Zuma,
a Zulu who had been imprisoned on Robben Island, as Mbeki's
replacement for Deputy President. Zuma's candidacy was challenged by
Winnie, whose populist rhetoric had gained her a strong following
within the party, although Zuma defeated her in a landslide victory
vote at the election.
Mandela's relationship with Machel had intensified; in February 1998,
he publicly stated that he was "in love with a remarkable lady", and
under pressure from Tutu, who urged him to set an example for young
people, he organised a wedding for his 80th birthday, in July that
year. The following day, he held a grand party with many foreign
dignitaries. Although the 1996 constitution allowed the president
to serve two consecutive five-year terms,
Mandela had never planned to
stand for a second term in office. He gave his farewell speech to
Parliament on 29 March 1999 when it adjourned prior to the 1999
general elections, after which he retired. Although opinion polls
South Africa showed wavering support for both the ANC and the
Mandela himself remained highly popular, with 80% of South
Africans polled in 1999 expressing satisfaction with his performance
Continued activism and philanthropy: 1999–2004
Mandela visiting the
London School of Economics
London School of Economics in 2000
Retiring in June 1999,
Mandela aimed to lead a quiet family life,
Johannesburg and Qunu. Although he set about authoring
a sequel to his first autobiography, to be titled The Presidential
Years, it was abandoned before publication.
Mandela found such
seclusion difficult and reverted to a busy public life involving daily
programme of tasks, meetings with world leaders and celebrities,
and—when in Johannesburg—working with the Nelson Mandela
Foundation, founded in 1999 to focus on rural development, school
construction, and combating HIV/AIDS. Although he had been
heavily criticised for failing to do enough to fight the HIV/AIDS
pandemic during his presidency, he devoted much of his time to the
issue following his retirement, describing it as "a war" that had
killed more than "all previous wars"; affiliating himself with the
Treatment Action Campaign, he urged Mbeki's government to ensure that
HIV-positive South Africans had access to anti-retrovirals.
Mandela was successfully treated for prostate cancer in
Mandela inaugurated the
Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, and in
Mandela Rhodes Foundation was created at Rhodes House,
University of Oxford, to provide postgraduate scholarships to African
students. These projects were followed by the
Nelson Mandela Centre of
Memory and the 46664 campaign against HIV/AIDS. He gave the
closing address at the XIII International AIDS Conference in
2000, and in 2004, spoke at the XV International AIDS Conference
in Bangkok, Thailand, calling for greater measures to tackle
tuberculosis as well as HIV/AIDS.
Mandela publicised AIDS as the
cause of his son Makgatho's death in January 2005, to defy the stigma
about discussing the disease.
Mandela became more vocal in criticising Western powers. He
strongly opposed the 1999 NATO intervention in Kosovo and called it an
attempt by the world's powerful nations to police the entire
world. In 2003, he spoke out against the plans for the US and UK
to launch a war in Iraq, describing it as "a tragedy" and lambasting
George W. Bush
George W. Bush and UK Prime Minister
Tony Blair for
undermining the UN, saying, "All that (Mr. Bush) wants is Iraqi
oil". He attacked the US more generally, asserting that it had
committed more "unspeakable atrocities" across the world than any
other nation, citing the atomic bombing of Japan; this attracted
international controversy, although he later improved his relationship
with Blair. Retaining an interest in Libyan-UK relations, he
visited Megrahi in
Barlinnie prison and spoke out against the
conditions of his treatment, referring to them as "psychological
"Retiring from retirement": 2004–13
In June 2004, aged 85 and amid failing health,
Mandela announced that
he was "retiring from retirement" and retreating from public life,
remarking, "Don't call me, I will call you." Although continuing
to meet with close friends and family, the Foundation discouraged
invitations for him to appear at public events and denied most
Nelson Mandela and President
George W. Bush
George W. Bush in the Oval Office, May
He retained some involvement in international affairs. In 2005, he
Nelson Mandela Legacy Trust, travelling to the US to
speak before the
Brookings Institution and the
NAACP on the need for
economic assistance to Africa. He spoke with US Senator
Hillary Clinton and President
George W. Bush
George W. Bush and first met the
then-Senator Barack Obama.
Mandela also encouraged Zimbabwean
Robert Mugabe to resign over growing human rights abuses in
the country. When this proved ineffective, he spoke out publicly
against Mugabe in 2007, asking him to step down "with residual respect
and a modicum of dignity." That year, Mandela, Machel, and
Desmond Tutu convened a group of world leaders in
contribute their wisdom and independent leadership to some of the
world's toughest problems.
Mandela announced the formation of this new
group, The Elders, in a speech delivered on his 89th birthday.
Mandela's 90th birthday was marked across the country on 18 July 2008,
with the main celebrations held at Qunu, and a concert in his
honour in Hyde Park, London. In a speech marking the event,
Mandela called for the rich to help the poor across the world.
Throughout Mbeki's presidency,
Mandela continued to support the ANC,
usually overshadowing Mbeki at any public events that the two
Mandela was more at ease with Mbeki's successor, Zuma,
Nelson Mandela Foundation was upset when his grandson,
Mandla Mandela, flew him out to the
Eastern Cape to attend a pro-Zuma
rally in the midst of a storm in 2009.
Mandela successfully campaigned for
South Africa to host the
2010 FIFA World Cup, declaring that there would be "few better gifts
for us" in the year marking a decade since the fall of apartheid.
Despite maintaining a low profile during the event due to ill-health,
Mandela made his final public appearance during the World Cup closing
ceremony, where he received much applause. Between 2005 and
2013, Mandela, and later his family, were embroiled in a series of
legal disputes regarding money held in family trusts for the benefit
of his descendants. In mid-2013, as
Mandela was hospitalised for
a lung infection in Pretoria, his descendants were involved in an
intra-family legal dispute relating to the burial place of Mandela's
children, and ultimately
Illness and death: 2011–2013
Main article: Death of Nelson Mandela
Members of the public paying their respects outside Mandela's Houghton
In February 2011,
Mandela was briefly hospitalised with a respiratory
infection, attracting international attention, before being
re-admitted for a lung infection and gallstone removal in December
2012. After a successful medical procedure in early March
2013, his lung infection recurred and he was briefly hospitalised
in Pretoria. In June 2013, his lung infection worsened and he was
readmitted to a
Pretoria hospital in serious condition. The
Thabo Makgoba visited
Mandela at the hospital
and prayed with Machel, while Zuma cancelled a trip to Mozambique
to visit him the following day. In September 2013,
discharged from hospital, although his condition remained
After suffering from a prolonged respiratory infection,
on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95, at around 20:50 local time
(UTC+2) at his home in Houghton, surrounded by his family. Zuma
publicly announced his death on television, proclaiming ten
days of national mourning, a memorial service held at Johannesburg's
FNB Stadium on 10 December 2013, and 8 December as a national day of
prayer and reflection. Mandela's body lay in state from 11 to 13
December at the
Union Buildings in
Pretoria and a state funeral was
held on 15 December in Qunu. Approximately 90
representatives of foreign states travelled to
South Africa to attend
memorial events. It was later revealed that 300 million rand
originally earmarked for humanitarian development projects had been
redirected to finance the funeral. The media was awash with
tributes and reminiscences, while images of and tributes to
Mandela proliferated across social media. His $4.1 million estate
was left to his widow, other family members, staff, and educational
A friend once asked me how I could reconcile my creed of African
nationalism with a belief in dialectical materialism. For me, there
was no contradiction. I was first and foremost an African nationalist
fighting for our emancipation from minority rule and the right to
control our own destiny. But at the same time,
South Africa and the
African continent were part of the larger world. Our problems, while
distinctive and special, were not unique, and a philosophy that placed
those problems in an international and historical context of the
greater world and the course of history was valuable. I was prepared
to use whatever means necessary to speed up the erasure of human
prejudice and the end of chauvinistic and violent nationalism.
— Nelson Mandela, 1994
Mandela was a practical politician, rather than an intellectual
scholar or political theorist. According to biographer Tom Lodge,
"for Mandela, politics has always been primarily about enacting
stories, about making narratives, primarily about morally exemplary
conduct, and only secondarily about ideological vision, more about
means rather than ends."
Mandela identified as both an African
nationalist, an ideological position he held since joining the
ANC, and as a socialist.
The historian Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni described
Mandela as a
"liberal African nationalist–decolonial humanist", while
Raymond Suttner cautioned against labelling Mandela
a liberal and stated that
Mandela displayed a "hybrid socio-political
Mandela took political ideas from other
thinkers—among them Indian independence leaders like Gandhi and
Nehru, African-American civil rights activists, and African
nationalists like Nkrumah—and applied them to the South African
situation. At the same time he rejected other aspects of their
thought, such as the anti-white sentiment of many African
nationalists. In doing so he synthesized both counter-cultural
and hegemonic views, for instance by drawing upon ideas from the
Afrikaner nationalism in promoting his anti-apartheid
His political development was strongly influenced by his legal
training and practice, in particular his hope to achieve change not
through violence but through "legal revolution". Over the course
of his life, he began by advocating a path of non-violence, later
embracing violence, and then adopting a non-violent approach to
negotiation and reconciliation. When endorsing violence, he did
so because he saw no alternative, and was always pragmatic about it,
perceiving it as a means to get his opponent to the negotiating
table. He sought to target symbols of white supremacy and racist
oppression rather than white people as individuals, and was anxious
not to inaugurate a race war in South Africa. This willingness to
use violence distinguishes
Mandela from the ideology of Gandhism, with
which some commentators have sought to associate him.
Although he presented himself in an autocratic manner in several
Mandela was a devout believer in democracy and abided by
majority decisions even when deeply disagreeing with them. He had
exhibited a commitment to the values of democracy and human rights
since at least the 1960s. He held a conviction that "inclusivity,
accountability and freedom of speech" were the fundamentals of
democracy, and was driven by a belief in natural and human
rights. Suttner argued that there were "two modes of leadership"
Mandela adopted. On one side he adhered to ideas about collective
leadership, although on the other believed that there were scenarios
in which a leader had to be decisive and act without consultation to
achieve a particular objective.
According to Lodge, Mandela's political thought reflected tensions
between his support for liberal democracy and pre-colonial African
forms of consensus decision making. He was an admirer of
British-style parliamentary democracy, stating that "I regard the
British Parliament as the most democratic institution in the world,
and the independence and impartiality of its judiciary never fail to
arouse my admiration." In this he has been described as being
committed to "the Euro-North American modernist project of
emancipation", something which distinguishes him from other African
nationalist and socialist leaders like Nyerere who were concerned
about embracing styles of democratic governance that were Western,
rather than African, in origin.
Mandela nevertheless also
expressed admiration for what he deemed to be indigenous forms of
democracy, describing Xhosa traditional society's mode of governance
as "democracy in its purest form". He also spoke of an
influential African ethical tenet, Ubuntu, which was a Ngnuni term
meaning "A person is a person through other persons" or "I am because
Socialism and Marxism
1988 Soviet commemorative stamp, captioned "
Nelson Mandela – Freedom
fighter in South Africa" in Russian
Mandela advocated the ultimate establishment of a classless
society, with Sampson describing him as being "openly opposed to
capitalism, private land-ownership and the power of big money".
Mandela was influenced by Marxism, and during the revolution he
advocated scientific socialism. He denied being a communist at
the Treason Trial, and maintained this stance both when later
talking to journalists, and in his autobiography. According
to the sociologist Craig Soudien, "sympathetic as
Mandela was to
socialism, a communist he was not." Conversely, the biographer
David Jones Smith stated that
Mandela "embraced communism and
communists" in the late 1950s and early 1960s, while the
historian Stephen Ellis commented that
Mandela had assimilated much of
the Marxist-Leninist ideology by 1960.
Ellis also found evidence that
Mandela had been an active member of
South African Communist Party
South African Communist Party during the late 1950s and early
1960s, something that was confirmed after his death by both the
ANC and the SACP, the latter of which claimed that he was not only a
member of the party, but also served on its Central Committee.
His membership had been hidden by the ANC, aware that knowledge of
Mandela's former SACP involvement might have been detrimental to his
attempts to attract support from Western countries. Mandela's
view of these Western governments differed from those of
Marxist-Leninists, for he did not believe that they were
anti-democratic or reactionary and remained committed to democratic
systems of governance.
The 1955 Freedom Charter, which
Mandela had helped create, called for
the nationalisation of banks, gold mines and land, to ensure equal
distribution of wealth. Despite these beliefs,
a programme of privatisation during his presidency in line with trends
in other countries of the time. It has been repeatedly suggested
Mandela would have preferred to develop a social democratic
South Africa but that this was not feasible as a result of
the international political and economic situation during the early
1990s. This decision was in part influenced by the fall of the
socialist states in the
Soviet Union and
Eastern Bloc during the early
Personality and personal life
Mandela on a visit to Australia in 2009; he is wearing one of the
brightly-coloured garments that became known as "Madiba shirts"
Mandela was widely considered a charismatic leader, described by
biographer Mary Benson as "a born mass leader who could not help
magnetizing people". He was highly image conscious and throughout
his life always sought out fine quality clothes, with many
commentators believing that he carried himself in a regal manner.
His aristocratic heritage was repeatedly emphasised by supporters,
thus contributing to his "charismatic power". While living in
Johannesburg in the 1950s, he cultivated the image of the "African
gentleman", having "the pressed clothes, correct manners, and
modulated public speech" associated with such a position. In
doing so, Lodge argued that
Mandela became "one of the first media
politicians [...] embodying a glamour and a style that projected
visually a brave new African world of modernity and freedom".
Mandela was known to change his clothes several times a day and after
assuming the presidency he became so associated with highly coloured
Batik shirts that they came to be known as "Madiba shirts".
For political scientists
Betty Glad and Robert Blanton,
Mandela was an
"exceptionally intelligent, shrewd, and loyal leader". His
official biographer, Anthony Sampson, commented that he was a "master
of imagery and performance", excelling at presenting himself well in
press photographs and producing sound bites. His public speeches
were presented in a formal, stiff manner, and often consisted of
clichéd set phrases. He typically spoke slowly, and carefully
chose his words. Although he was not considered a great orator,
his speeches conveyed "his personal commitment, charm and
Mandela was a private person who often concealed his emotions and
confided in very few people. Privately, he lived an austere life,
refusing to drink alcohol or smoke, and even as President made his own
bed. Renowned for his mischievous sense of humour, he was
known for being both stubborn and loyal, and at times exhibited a
quick temper. He was typically friendly and welcoming, and
appeared relaxed in conversation with everyone, including his
opponents. A self-described Anglophile, he claimed to have lived
by the "trappings of British style and manners". Constantly
polite and courteous, he was attentive to all, irrespective of their
age or status, and often talked to children or servants. He was
known for his ability to find common ground with very different
communities. In later life, he always looked for the best in
people, even defending political opponents to his allies, who
sometimes thought him too trusting of others. He was fond of
Indian cuisine, and had a lifelong interest in archaeology
The significance of
Mandela can be considered in two related ways.
First, he has provided through his personal presence as a benign and
honest conviction politician, skilled at exerting power but not
obsessed with it to the point of view of excluding principles, a man
who struggled to display respect to all... Second, in so doing he was
able to be a hero and a symbol to an array of otherwise unlikely mates
through his ability, like all brilliant nationalist politicians, to
speak to very different audiences effectively at once.
— Bill Freund, academic
He was raised in the Methodist denomination of Christianity; the
Methodist Church of Southern Africa
Methodist Church of Southern Africa claimed that he retained his
allegiance to them throughout his life. On analysing Mandela's
writings, the theologian
Dion Forster described him as a Christian
humanist, although added that his thought relied to a greater extent
on the Southern African concept of Ubuntu than on Christian
theology. According to Sampson,
Mandela never had "a strong
religious faith" however, while Boehmer stated that Mandela's
religious belief was "never robust".
Mandela was very self-conscious about being a man and regularly made
references to manhood. He was heterosexual, and biographer
Fatima Meer said that he was "easily tempted" by women. Another
biographer, Martin Meredith, characterised him as being "by nature a
romantic", highlighting that he had relationships with various
Mandela was married three times, fathered six children,
and had seventeen grandchildren and at least seventeen
great-grandchildren. He could be stern and demanding of his
children, although he was more affectionate with his
grandchildren. His first marriage was to Evelyn Ntoko Mase in
October 1944; they divorced after 13 years in 1957 under the
multiple strains of his adultery and constant absences, devotion to
revolutionary agitation, and the fact that she was a Jehovah's
Witness, a religion requiring political neutrality. Mandela's
second wife was the social worker Winnie Madikizela-Mandela,
although they divorced in 1995.
Mandela married his third wife,
Graça Machel, on his 80th birthday in 1998.
Reception and legacy
Flowers left at the
Mandela statue in London's Parliament Square
following his death
By the time of his death, within
Mandela was widely
considered both "the father of the nation" and "the founding
father of democracy". Outside of South Africa, he was a "global
icon", with the scholar of South African studies Rita Barnard
describing him as "one of the most revered figures of our time".
One biographer considered him "a modern democratic hero", while
his popularity resulted in a cult of personality building up around
him. Some have portrayed
Mandela in messianic terms, in
contrast to his own statement that "I was not a messiah, but an
ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary
circumstances." He is often cited alongside
Mahatma Gandhi and
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. as one of the 20th century's exemplary
anti-racist and anti-colonial leaders. Boehmer described him as
"a totem of the totemic values of our age: toleration and liberal
democracy" and "a universal symbol of social justice".
Mandela's international fame had emerged during his incarceration in
the 1980s, when he became the world's most famous prisoner, a symbol
of the anti-apartheid cause, and an icon for millions who embraced the
ideal of human equality. In 1986, Mandela's biographer
characterised him as "the embodiment of the struggle for liberation"
in South Africa. Meredith stated that in becoming "a potent
symbol of resistance" to apartheid during the 1980s, he had gained
"mythical status" internationally. Sampson commented that even
during his life, this myth had become "so powerful that it blurs the
Mandela into "a secular saint". Within a
decade of the end of his Presidency, Mandela's era was being widely
thought of as "a golden age of hope and harmony", with much
nostalgia being expressed for it. His name was often invoked by
those criticising his successors like Mbeki and Zuma. Across the
Mandela earned international acclaim for his activism in
overcoming apartheid and fostering racial reconciliation, coming
to be viewed as "a moral authority" with a great "concern for
truth". Mandela's iconic status has been blamed for concealing
the complexities of his life.
Mandela generated controversy throughout his career as an activist and
politician, having detractors on both the right and the radical
left. During the 1980s,
Mandela was widely labelled a terrorist
by prominent political figures in the Western world for his embrace of
political violence. According to Thatcher, for instance, the ANC
was "a typical terrorist organisation". The US government's State
and Defense departments officially designated the ANC as a terrorist
organisation, resulting in
Mandela remaining on their terrorism
watch-list until 2008. On the left, some voices in the
ANC—among them Frank B. Wilderson III—accused him of selling out
for agreeing to enter negotiations with the apartheid government and
for not implementing the reforms of the
Freedom Charter during his
Presidency. According to Barnard, "there is also a sense in which
his chiefly bearing and mode of conduct, the very respect and
authority he accrued in representing his nation in his own person,
went against the spirit of democracy", and concerns were
similarly expressed that he placed his own status and celebrity above
the transformation of his country. His government would be
criticised for its failure to deal with both the
HIV/AIDS pandemic and
the high levels of poverty in South Africa.
Mandela was also
criticised for his friendship with political leaders such as Castro,
Gaddafi, and Suharto—deemed dictators by critics—as well as his
refusal to condemn their governments' human rights violations.
Orders, decorations, and monuments
Main article: List of awards and honours bestowed upon Nelson Mandela
Over the course of his life,
Mandela was given over 250 awards,
accolades, prizes, honorary degrees and citizenships in recognition of
his political achievements. Among his awards were the Nobel Peace
Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Soviet
Union's Lenin Peace Prize, and the Libyan Al-Gaddafi
International Prize for Human Rights. In 1990, India awarded him
the Bharat Ratna, and in 1992 Pakistan gave him their
Nishan-e-Pakistan. The same year, he was awarded the Atatürk
Peace Award by Turkey; he at first refused the award, citing human
rights violations committed by Turkey at the time, but later
accepted the award in 1999. He was appointed to the Order of
Isabella the Catholic and the Order of Canada, and was the
first living person to be made an honorary Canadian citizen.
Elizabeth II appointed him as a Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order
of St. John and granted him membership in the Order of Merit.
Mandela the Freedom of the City,
and in 2008 a
Mandela statue was unveiled at the spot where Mandela
was released from prison. On the
Day of Reconciliation
Day of Reconciliation 2013, a
bronze statue of
Mandela was unveiled at Pretoria's Union
Buildings. In November 2009, the
United Nations General Assembly
proclaimed Mandela's birthday, 18 July, as "
Mandela Day", marking his
contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle. It called on individuals
to donate 67 minutes to doing something for others, commemorating the
67 years that
Mandela had been a part of the movement.
Biographies and popular media
The first biography of
Mandela was authored by Mary Benson, based on
brief interviews with him that she had conducted in the 1960s.
Two authorised biographies were later produced by friends of
Mandela. The first was Fatima Meer's Higher Than Hope, which was
heavily influenced by Winnie and thus placed great emphasis on
Mandela's family. The second was Anthony Sampson's Mandela,
published in 1999. Other biographies included Martin Meredith's
Mandela, first published in 1997, and Tom Lodge's Mandela, brought out
Since the late 1980s, Mandela's image began to appear on a
proliferation of items, among them "photographs, paintings, drawings,
statues, public murals, buttons, t-shirts, refrigerator magnets, and
more", items that have been characterised as "Mandela
kitsch". In the 1980s he was the subject of several songs, such
Special AKA's "Free Nelson Mandela" and Hugh Masekela's "Bring
Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela)", which helped to bring awareness of
his imprisonment to an international audience. Following his
death, there appeared many internet memes featuring images of Mandela
with his inspirational quotes superimposed onto them.
also been depicted in films on multiple occasions. Some of these,
such as the 2013 feature film Mandela:
Long Walk to Freedom
Long Walk to Freedom and the
1996 documentary Mandela, have focused on covering his long life,
whereas others, such as the 2009 feature film Invictus and the 2010
documentary The 16th Man, have focused on specific events in his
life. It has been argued that in Invictus and other films, "the
American film industry" has played a significant part in "the crafting
of Mandela's global image".
^ "Mandela". Collins English Dictionary. Archived from the original on
5 April 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
Mandela 1994, p. 3; Boehmer 2008, p. 21; Smith 2010,
p. 17; Sampson 2011, p. 3.
^ Benson 1986, p. 16;
Mandela 1994, p. 3; Smith 2010,
p. 17; Meredith 2010, p. 2; Sampson 2011, p. 3.
Mandela 1994, p. 4; Lodge 2006, p. 2; Smith 2010,
^ Meer 1988, p. 3; Guiloineau & Rowe 2002, p. 23;
Meredith 2010, p. 1.
^ Guiloineau & Rowe 2002, p. 26.
^ Guiloineau & Rowe 2002, p. 26; Lodge 2006, p. 1;
Mafela 2008, pp. 102–103.
^ Smith 2010, p. 19.
Mandela 1994, pp. 8–9; Smith 2010, pp. 21–22; Sampson
2011, p. 4.
Mandela 1994, p. 17; Meredith 2010, p. 1.
^ Benson 1986, p. 15;
Mandela 1994, pp. 7–8; Smith 2010,
pp. 16, 23–24; Meredith 2010, pp. 1, 3; Sampson 2011,
Mandela 1994, p. 19.
Mandela 1994, p. 15; Meredith 2010, p. 3.
^ Benson 1986, p. 16;
Mandela 1994, p. 12; Smith 2010,
pp. 23–24; Meredith 2010, pp. 2, 4.
Mandela 1994, pp. 18–19; Lodge 2006, p. 3; Smith 2010,
p. 24; Meredith 2010, pp. 2, 4–5; Sampson 2011,
pp. 5,7; Forster 2014, pp. 91–92.
Mandela 1994, p. 20; Lodge 2006, p. 3; Smith 2010,
p. 25; Meredith 2010, p. 5; Sampson 2011, p. 7.
Mandela 1994, pp. 8, 20.
^ Benson 1986, p. 17; Meer 1988, p. 4;
pp. 22–25; Lodge 2006, p. 3; Smith 2010, pp. 26–27;
Meredith 2010, p. 5; Sampson 2011, pp. 7–9.
^ Meer 1988, p. 7;
Mandela 1994, pp. 27–29; Meredith 2010,
^ Meer 1988, p. 7;
Mandela 1994, p. 25; Smith 2010,
p. 27; Meredith 2010, p. 9.
^ Meer 1988, pp. 11–12;
Mandela 1994, pp. 31–34; Lodge
2006, p. 3; Smith 2010, p. 18; Meredith 2010, p. 8.
Mandela 1994, p. 43; Meredith 2010, p. 11.
^ Benson 1986, p. 17;
Mandela 1994, pp. 36–42; Lodge 2006,
p. 8; Smith 2010, pp. 29–31; Meredith 2010,
pp. 9–11; Sampson 2011, p. 14.
Mandela 1994, pp. 45–47; Smith 2010, pp. 27, 31;
Meredith 2010, pp. 12–13; Sampson 2011, p. 15.
Mandela 1994, pp. 48–50.
^ Sampson 2011, p. 17.
Mandela 1994, p. 52; Smith 2010, pp. 31–32; Meredith
2010, p. 14; Sampson 2011, pp. 17–18.
Mandela 1994, pp. 53–54; Smith 2010, p. 32; Meredith
2010, pp. 14–15; Sampson 2011, pp. 18–21.
Mandela 1994, p. 56; Smith 2010, p. 32; Meredith 2010,
Mandela 1994, pp. 62–65; Lodge 2006, p. 9; Smith 2010,
pp. 33–34; Meredith 2010, pp. 15–18; Sampson 2011,
pp. 21, 25.
Mandela 1994, pp. 62–63; Smith 2010, pp. 33–34;
Meredith 2010, pp. 17–19; Sampson 2011, pp. 24–25.
Mandela 1994, pp. 67–69; Smith 2010, p. 34; Meredith
2010, p. 18; Sampson 2011, p. 25.
Mandela 1994, p. 68; Lodge 2006, p. 10; Smith 2010,
p. 35; Meredith 2010, p. 18; Sampson 2011, p. 25.
Mandela 1994, p. 68; Lodge 2006, p. 10; Meredith 2010,
p. 18; Forster 2014, p. 93.
^ Sampson 2011, p. 25.
Mandela 1994, pp. 70–71; Lodge 2006, p. 11; Meredith
2010, p. 19; Sampson 2011, p. 26.
Mandela 1994, p. 66; Smith 2010, p. 34.
^ Benson 1986, p. 21;
Mandela 1994, pp. 78–86; Lodge 2006,
pp. 11–12; Smith 2010, pp. 34–35; Meredith 2010,
pp. 19–20; Sampson 2011, pp. 26–27.
^ Benson 1986, p. 21;
Mandela 1994, pp. 73–76; Lodge 2006,
p. 12; Smith 2010, pp. 36–39; Meredith 2010,
pp. 20–22; Sampson 2011, pp. 27–28.
^ Benson 1986, p. 23; Meer 1988, pp. 25–26;
pp. 89–94; Lodge 2006, pp. 12–13; Smith 2010,
p. 40; Meredith 2010, pp. 27–28; Sampson 2011,
Mandela 1994, pp. 96–101; Lodge 2006, pp. 13, 19–21;
Smith 2010, p. 41; Meredith 2010, pp. 28–30; Sampson 2011,
Mandela 1994, pp. 104–105; Lodge 2006, pp. 22, 31–32;
Smith 2010, pp. 43, 48; Meredith 2010, pp. 31–32; Sampson
2011, pp. 32–33.
Mandela 1994, p. 106; Smith 2010, pp. 48–49.
Mandela 1994, p. 100; Smith 2010, p. 44; Meredith 2010,
p. 33; Sampson 2011, p. 34.
^ Benson 1986, p. 23; Meer 1988, p. 26;
pp. 99, 108–110; Smith 2010, pp. 44–45; Meredith 2010,
p. 33; Sampson 2011, p. 33.
Mandela 1994, pp. 113–116; Lodge 2006, p. 23; Smith
2010, pp. 45–46; Sampson 2011, p. 33.
Mandela 1994, pp. 118–119; Lodge 2006, p. 24; Meredith
2010, p. 33; Sampson 2011, p. 34.
Mandela 1994, pp. 116–117, 119–120; Lodge 2006, p. 22;
Smith 2010, p. 47; Meredith 2010, pp. 33–34; Sampson 2011,
Mandela 1994, pp. 122, 126–27; Smith 2010, p. 49;
Meredith 2010, p. 34; Sampson 2011, p. 34.
Mandela 1994, p. 135.
^ Meer 1988, pp. 33–34;
Mandela 1994, pp. 127–131; Smith
2010, pp. 64–65; Meredith 2010, pp. 34–35; Sampson 2011,
Mandela 1994, pp. 122–123; Lodge 2006, pp. 27–28;
Smith 2010, p. 48; Meredith 2010, p. 44; Sampson 2011,
Mandela 1994, p. 136; Smith 2010, p. 53; Meredith 2010,
pp. 36, 43.
Mandela 1994, pp. 137–139; Lodge 2006, pp. 33–34;
Smith 2010, p. 53; Meredith 2010, pp. 42–43; Sampson 2011,
^ Benson 1986, p. 31; Meer 1988, pp. 34–35;
pp. 142–143; Smith 2010, p. 54.
^ Benson 1986, pp. 28–29;
Mandela 1994, pp. 139–143;
Lodge 2006, p. 35; Smith 2010, pp. 52–56; Meredith 2010,
pp. 44–46; Sampson 2011, pp. 39–41.
^ Smith 2010, p. inset photographs.
^ Benson 1986, p. 24; Meer 1988, pp. 39–40;
pp. 144, 148–149; Lodge 2006, pp. 24, 25; Smith 2010,
pp. 59–62; Meredith 2010, p. 47; Sampson 2011, p. 36.
^ Meer 1988, pp. 40–41;
Mandela 1994, pp. 149, 152; Lodge
2006, p. 29; Smith 2010, pp. 60–64; Meredith 2010,
p. 48; Sampson 2011, p. 36.
^ Meer 1988, p. 40;
Mandela 1994, pp. 150, 210; Lodge 2006,
p. 30; Smith 2010, p. 67; Meredith 2010, p. 48; Sampson
2011, p. 36.
Mandela 1994, p. 151; Smith 2010, p. 64; Meredith 2010,
^ Benson 1986, p. 36; Meer 1988, p. 43;
pp. 153–154; Smith 2010, p. 66; Sampson 2011, p. 48.
Mandela 1994, p. 154; Sampson 2011, p. 42.
Mandela 1994, pp. 154–157; Lodge 2006, p. 37; Smith
2010, p. 66; Sampson 2011, p. 49.
^ Benson 1986, p. 35;
Mandela 1994, pp. 159–162; Lodge
2006, pp. 41–42; Smith 2010, pp. 70–72; Meredith 2010,
pp. 76–78; Sampson 2011, pp. 51–52.
^ Benson 1986, pp. 36–37;
Mandela 1994, pp. 162–165;
Lodge 2006, p. 44; Smith 2010, pp. 72–73; Meredith 2010,
pp. 78–79; Sampson 2011, pp. 53–55.
Mandela 1994, p. 165.
^ Smith 2010, pp. 68–70; Sampson 2011, p. 35.
^ Benson 1986, p. 26.
Mandela 1994, p. 168; Lodge 2006, p. 44; Sampson 2011,
^ Benson 1986, p. 41;
Mandela 1994, p. 176; Lodge 2006,
p. 47; Smith 2010, p. 78; Meredith 2010, p. 88; Sampson
2011, pp. 63–64.
^ Benson 1986, pp. 38–40; Meer 1988, pp. 48–49; Mandela
1994, pp. 165–167; Smith 2010, pp. 74–75; Meredith 2010,
pp. 81–83; Sampson 2011, pp. 61–62.
Mandela 1994, p. 176; Smith 2010, p. 78; Sampson 2011,
^ Benson 1986, p. 42; Meer 1988, p. 55; Lodge 2006,
p. 48; Meredith 2010, p. 94.
Mandela 1994, pp. 177–172; Lodge 2006, pp. 45, 47; Smith
2010, pp. 75–76; Meredith 2010, p. 87; Sampson 2011,
Mandela 1994, p. 172.
Mandela 1994, p. 165; Lodge 2006, p. 53; Smith 2010,
p. 77; Meredith 2010, p. 92.
Mandela 1994, p. 170; Smith 2010, p. 94; Meredith 2010,
^ Benson 1986, pp. 44–46; Meer 1988, pp. 56–58; Mandela
1994, pp. 182–183; Smith 2010, pp. 77, 80; Meredith 2010,
pp. 88–89; Sampson 2011, pp. 66–67.
Mandela 1994, pp. 183–188; Lodge 2006, p. 52, 53;
Meredith 2010, pp. 88–89; Sampson 2011, p. 69.
^ Lodge 2006, p. 47.
Mandela 1994, pp. 188–192; Sampson 2011, p. 68.
^ Benson 1986, p. 51;
Mandela 1994, pp. 194–195; Lodge
2006, p. 54; Smith 2010, p. 85; Sampson 2011,
^ Benson 1986, pp. 50–51;
Mandela 1994, pp. 195–198;
Lodge 2006, p. 54; Smith 2010, pp. 83–84; Meredith 2010,
p. 92; Sampson 2011, pp. 71–72.
^ Meer 1988, p. 64;
Mandela 1994, pp. 199–200, 204; Smith
2010, p. 86; Sampson 2011, p. 73.
^ Benson 1986, pp. 58–59; Meer 1988, p. 60;
pp. 205–207, 231; Lodge 2006, p. 58; Meredith 2010,
pp. 107–108; Smith 2010, pp. 116–117; Sampson 2011,
pp. 81–82, 84–85.
Mandela 1994, pp. 209–210; Smith 2010, p. 87; Meredith
2010, p. 95; Sampson 2011, p. 7.
^ Benson 1986, pp. 54–57; Meer 1988, p. 61;
pp. 210–216; Lodge 2006, p. 73; Smith 2010,
pp. 87–93; Meredith 2010, pp. 95–101; Sampson 2011,
^ Lodge 2006, pp. 28–29, 75.
^ Meredith 2010, pp. 103–104; Smith 2010, pp. 95–99,
Mandela 1994, pp. 293–294; Meredith 2010, pp. 104–105;
Smith 2010, pp. 98–99, 105–106; Sampson 2011,
^ Benson 1986, p. 66; Sampson 2011, p. 92.
Mandela 1994, pp. 218–233, 234–236; Lodge 2006,
pp. 59–60; Meredith 2010, pp. 114–117; Smith 2010,
p. 120–123; Sampson 2011, pp. 82–84.
Mandela 1994, pp. 226–227; Lodge 2006, p. 60; Meredith
2010, pp. 108–109; Smith 2010, p. 118; Sampson 2011,
^ Benson 1986, pp. 64–67; Meer 1988, pp. 71–75; Mandela
1994, pp. 243–249; Lodge 2006, pp. 65–66; Meredith 2010,
pp. 129–133; Smith 2010, pp. 118–120, 125–128; Sampson
2011, pp. 87–95.
^ Meredith 2010, p. 134.
Mandela 1994, pp. 253–274; Smith 2010, pp. 130–132;
Sampson 2011, pp. 96–99.
Mandela 1994, p. 275; Meredith 2010, p. 147; Sampson 2011,
^ Meer 1988, pp. 79–80; Meredith 2010, pp. 143–144;
Smith 2010, pp. 100–102; Sampson 2011, p. 110.
^ Meer 1988, pp. 79–80;
Mandela 1994, p. 296; Smith 2010,
pp. 102–104; Sampson 2011, p. 110.
^ Benson 1986, pp. 74–76; Meer 1988, p. 93;
pp. 306–311; Lodge 2006, pp. 75–77; Meredith 2010,
pp. 144–149; Smith 2010, pp. 104, 132–145; Sampson 2011,
^ Meredith 2010, pp. 165, 186.
^ Benson 1986, pp. 68, 71–72; Meer 1988, p. 83; Mandela
1994, pp. 283–292; Meredith 2010, pp. 136–141; Smith
2010, pp. 163–164; Sampson 2011, pp. 103–106.
Mandela 1994, pp. 299–305; Meredith 2010, p. 142; Smith
2010, pp. 167–168; Sampson 2011, pp. 116–117.
Mandela 1994, pp. 331–334; Meredith 2010, pp. 162, 165;
Smith 2010, p. 167; Sampson 2011, pp. 122–123.
^ Benson 1986, p. 79; Meer 1988, pp. 90–92, 141–143;
Mandela 1994, pp. 327–330; Meredith 2010, pp. 167–168;
Smith 2010, pp. 171–173; Sampson 2011, pp. 117–122.
^ Benson 1986, pp. 83–84; Meer 1988, pp. 144–147;
Mandela 1994, pp. 342–346; Lodge 2006, pp. 81–82;
Meredith 2010, pp. 167–170; Smith 2010, pp. 173–175;
Sampson 2011, pp. 130–131.
^ Benson 1986, pp. 85–86;
Mandela 1994, pp. 347–357;
Meredith 2010, pp. 172–175; Smith 2010, p. 175; Sampson
2011, pp. 132–133.
Mandela 1994, pp. 357–364; Meredith 2010, pp. 176, 184;
Smith 2010, p. 177; Sampson 2011, pp. 134–135.
^ Benson 1986, p. 98;
Mandela 1994, pp. 373–374; Lodge
2006, pp. 83–84; Meredith 2010, pp. 187–188; Smith 2010,
pp. 183–185; Sampson 2011, pp. 140–143.
^ Benson 1986, p. 94; Meer 1988, p. 151;
pp. 377–380; Lodge 2006, p. 84; Meredith 2010,
pp. 188–189; Smith 2010, p. 178; Sampson 2011,
^ Benson 1986, p. 99;
Mandela 1994, pp. 283–287; Meredith
2010, pp. 192–193; Smith 2010, pp. 186–188, 193; Sampson
2011, pp. 144–146, 154.
Mandela 1994, pp. 289–291; Smith 2010, pp. 188–189;
Sampson 2011, pp. 147–149.
Mandela 1994, pp. 393–396; Meredith 2010, pp. 199–200;
Smith 2010, pp. 206–210; Sampson 2011, pp. 150–151.
^ Benson 1986, p. 107;
Mandela 1994, pp. 397–398; Meredith
2010, pp. 197–198, 200–201; Smith 2010, pp. 209–214;
Sampson 2011, pp. 151–154.
^ Smith 2010, pp. 209–210; Sampson 2011, p. 151.
^ Benson 1986, p. 107;
Mandela 1994, pp. 397–409; Lodge
2006, pp. 92–93; Meredith 2010, pp. 201–204; Smith 2010,
pp. 191, 222–229; Sampson 2011, pp. 154–156.
^ a b Ellis 2011, pp. 667–668.
^ Ellis 2016, p. 1.
^ a b "SACP statement on the passing away of Madiba". South African
Communist Party. 6 December 2013. Archived from the original on 3
March 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2016. ; Marrian, Natasha (6
December 2013). "SACP confirms
Nelson Mandela was a member". Business
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^ Meer 1988, p. 171; Meredith 2010, p. 207.
^ Benson 1986, p. 108; Meer 1988, p. 171;
pp. 411–412; Lodge 2006, p. 90; Meredith 2010,
^ Benson 1986, p. 110; Meer 1988, p. 170;
pp. 413–415; Lodge 2006, p. 95; Meredith 2010,
p. 206; Smith 2010, pp. 239–246; Sampson 2011,
^ Benson 1986, p. 111; Meer 1988, pp. 171–172, 176;
Mandela 1994, pp. 418–425; Lodge 2006, p. 95; Smith 2010,
pp. 251–254; Benneyworth 2011, p. 81; Sampson 2011,
^ Meer 1988, pp. 173–175; Lodge 2006, p. 97; Meredith
2010, p. 209; Benneyworth 2011, pp. 81, 84.
^ Meer 1988, pp. 176–177, 180;
pp. 427–432; Smith 2010, pp. 255–256; Sampson 2011,
^ Meer 1988, pp. 185–194;
Mandela 1994, pp. 432–440;
Meredith 2010, p. 210; Smith 2010, pp. 256–259; Sampson
2011, pp. 165–167.
^ Benson 1986, p. 114; Meer 1988, pp. 196–197; Mandela
1994, pp. 441–443; Meredith 2010, pp. 210–211; Smith
2010, pp. 259–261; Sampson 2011, pp. 167–169.
Mandela 1994, pp. 443–445; Lodge 2006, p. 100; Meredith
2010, p. 211; Smith 2010, pp. 261–262; Benneyworth 2011,
pp. 91–93; Sampson 2011, pp. 169–170.
^ Benson 1986, pp. 116–117; Meer 1988, pp. 201–202;
Mandela 1994, pp. 435–435; Meredith 2010, pp. 215–216;
Smith 2010, pp. 275–276; Sampson 2011, pp. 170–172.
Mandela 1994, pp. 278–279; Meredith 2010, p. 216;
Sampson 2011, p. 172.
^ Meredith 2010, pp. 216–217; Sampson 2011, p. 172.
^ "Ex-CIA spy admits tip led to Nelson Mandela's long imprisonment".
The Guardian. 15 May 2016. Archived from the original on 16 May 2016.
Retrieved 20 May 2016.
Mandela 1994, pp. 456–459; Sampson 2011, pp. 172–173.
Mandela 1994, pp. 463–465; Smith 2010, pp. 292–293;
Sampson 2011, pp. 173–174.
^ Benson 1986, pp. 120–134; Meer 1988, pp. 210–213;
Mandela 1994, pp. 468–482; Lodge 2006, pp. 104–106;
Meredith 2010, pp. 218–426; Sampson 2011, pp. 174–176.
^ Benson 1986, p. 159; Meer 1988, p. 258; Meredith 2010,
p. 265; Smith 2010, p. 302; Sampson 2011, p. 193; Broun
2012, p. 74.
^ Nelson Mandela. "I am prepared to die".
Nelson Mandela Centre of
Nelson Mandela Foundation. Archived from the original on 1
February 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
^ Benson 1986, pp. 134–137; Meer 1988, pp. 223–226;
Mandela 2004, pp. 27–32; Lodge 2006, pp. 108–109;
Meredith 2010, pp. 242–250; Smith 2010, pp. 292–295;
Sampson 2011, pp. 183–186; Broun 2012, pp. 6–10,
^ Benson 1986, pp. 138–139; Meer 1988, p. 226; Mandela
2004, pp. 33–42; Meredith 2010, pp. 252–254, 256;
Sampson 2011, pp. 186–190; Broun 2012, pp. 43–49.
^ Benson 1986, p. 160; Meer 1988, pp. 232–233; Mandela
2004, pp. 42–44; Meredith 2010, pp. 252, 259.
^ Benson 1986, p. 140;
Mandela 2004, pp. 43–57; Meredith
2010, pp. 258–265; Smith 2010, pp. 298–302; Sampson
2011, pp. 191–194; Broun 2012, pp. 68–75.
Mandela 2004, p. 62; Meredith 2010, p. 268; Smith 2010,
p. 303; Sampson 2011, pp. 194–195; Broun 2012,
pp. 102–104, 107.
^ Benson 1986, pp. 161, 163;
Mandela 2004, pp. 63–68;
Meredith 2010, pp. 268–272; Smith 2010, p. 306; Sampson
2011, pp. 196–197; Broun 2012, pp. 116–128.
^ Benson 1986, p. 165; Meer 1988, p. 262;
pp. 75–78; Smith 2010, pp. 307–308; Sampson 2011,
Mandela 2004, pp. 79–80; Meredith 2010, p. 279; Sampson
2011, p. 205.
^ Benson 1986, p. 166, 182; Meer 1988, p. 266;
pp. 82–84, 108–116; Meredith 2010, pp. 281–283,
290–291; Sampson 2011, pp. 206–207.
^ Benson 1986, p. 174;
Mandela 2004, p. 126; Meredith 2010,
p. 299; Sampson 2011, pp. 205, 258.
^ Benson 1986, p. 169;
Mandela 2004, pp. 102–108; Meredith
2010, p. 283; Sampson 2011, p. 205.
^ Benson 1986, p. 175;
Mandela 2004, pp. 83, 90, 136–138;
Lodge 2006, p. 124; Meredith 2010, pp. 284, 296–298.
^ Meredith 2010, pp. 298–299; Sampson 2011, pp. 210–214.
^ Lodge 2006, pp. 130–131; Meredith 2010, pp. 292–295;
Sampson 2011, pp. 236–241, 288–294.
^ Meredith 2010, pp. 301, 313; Sampson 2011, p. 232.
^ Meredith 2010, pp. 295, 299–301; Sampson 2011, p. 229.
^ Meredith 2010, pp. 301–302; Sampson 2011, p. 221.
^ Meredith 2010, p. 337; Sampson 2011, p. 222.
^ Meredith 2010, p. 334; Sampson 2011, p. 241.
^ Lodge 2006, pp. 142, 145; Meredith 2010, pp. 303–304;
Sampson 2011, pp. 246–247.
^ Benson 1986, pp. 192–194; Meer 1988, pp. 306–307;
Meredith 2010, pp. 287–288, 304–310; Sampson 2011,
pp. 248–254, 302.
^ Meredith 2010, p. 301; Sampson 2011, pp. 222, 235.
^ Meer 1988, pp. 207–208; Sampson 2011, p. 231.
^ Lodge 2006, pp. 127–128; Meredith 2010, pp. 308–310;
Sampson 2011, pp. 223–225.
^ Lodge 2006, pp. 128–129; Sampson 2011, pp. 226–227.
^ Hutton 1994, p. 60.
^ Sampson 2011, p. 228.
^ Sampson 2011, pp. 314–315.
^ Meer 1988, p. 268; Lodge 2006, p. 139; Meredith 2010,
p. 317; Sampson 2011, pp. 242–243.
^ Sampson 2011, pp. 285–286.
^ Benson 1986, pp. 186–188; Meer 1988, pp. 304–306;
Meredith 2010, pp. 324–327; Sampson 2011, pp. 259–276.
^ Lodge 2006, p. 135; Meredith 2010, pp. 327–328; Sampson
2011, pp. 277–283; Soudien 2015, pp. 363–364.
^ Sampson 2011, p. 296.
^ Meer 1988, pp. 313, 314; Sampson 2011, pp. 315–316.
^ Lodge 2006, p. 155; Meredith 2010, pp. 338–339; Sampson
2011, pp. 319–320.
^ Barber 2004, p. 24; Sampson 2011, p. 321.
^ Benson 1986, p. 218; Lodge 2006, pp. 147–149; Meredith
2010, p. 340; Sampson 2011, pp. 324–325.
^ Lodge 2006, p. 148; Meredith 2010, pp. 346–347; Sampson
2011, pp. 324–325.
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African National Congress
1912–1915 S. T. Plaatje
1915–1917 R. V. S. Thema
1917–1919 S. Msane
1919–1923 H.L. Bud-M'belle
1923–1927 T. D. Mweli-Skota
1927–1930 E. J. Khaile
1930–1936 E. Mdolomba
1936–1949 James Calata
1949–1955 W. M. U. Sisulu
1955–1958 O. R. Tambo
1958–1969 P. P. D. Nokwe
1969–1991 A. B. Nzo
1991–1997 M. C. Ramaphosa
1997–2007 K. Motlanthe
2007–2017 G. Mantashe
2017–present E. S. Magashule
1912–1917 J. L. Dube
1917–1924 S. M. Makgatho
1924–1927 Z. R. Mahabane
1927–1930 J. T. Gumede
1930–1936 P. ka Isaka Seme
1937–1940 Z. R. Mahabane
1940–1949 A. B. Xuma
1949–1952 J. S. Moroka
1952–1967 A. J. Lutuli
1967–1991 O. R. Tambo
1991–1997 N. R. Mandela
1997–2007 T. M. Mbeki
2007–2017 J. G. Zuma
2017–present M. C. Ramaphosa
1952–1958 N. R. Mandela
1958–1985 O. R. Tambo
1985–1991 N. R. Mandela
1991–1994 W. M. U. Sisulu
1994–1997 T. M. Mbeki
1997–2007 J. G. Zuma
2007–2012 K. Motlanthe
2012-2017 M. C. Ramaphosa
2017-present D. D. Mabuza
Structure and wings
ANC Women's League
ANC Youth League
National Executive Committee
Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College
Umkhonto we Sizwe
Congress of South African Trade Unions
South African Communist Party
Heads of State of South Africa
State President (1961–1994)
Charles Robberts Swart
Jozua François Naudé*
Jacobus Johannes Fouché
Johannes de Klerk*
B. J. Vorster
P. W. Botha
F. W. de Klerk
President (from 1994)
Secretaries-General of the Non-Aligned Movement
Nelson Mandela (1994–1999)
F.W. de Klerk
Mohammed Valli Moosa
Kraai van Niekerk
Dawid de Villiers
Mandela Cabinet (1996–1999)
Derek Hanekom (Agriculture and Land Affairs)
Ben Ngubane (1996–1997, 1999) / Lionel Mtshali (1997–1999) (Arts
Jay Naidoo (Communications)
Mohammed Valli Moosa (Constitutional Development and Provincial
Sipo Mzimela (1996–1998) / Ben Skosana (1998–1999) (Correctional
Joe Modise (Defence)
Sibusiso Bengu (Education)
Pallo Jordan (Environmental Affairs and Tourism)
Trevor Manuel (Finance)
Alfred Nzo (Foreign Affairs)
Nkosazana Zuma (Health)
Mangosuthu Buthelezi (Home Affairs)
Sankie Mtembi-Nkondo (Housing)
Dullah Omar (Justice)
Tito Mboweni (1996–1998) /
Membathisi Mdladlana (1998–1999)
Penuell Maduna (Minerals and Energy)
Stella Sigcau (Public Enterprises)
Zola Skweyiya (Public Service and Administration)
Jeff Radebe (Public Works)
Sydney Mufamadi (Safety and Security)
Steve Tshwete (Sport and Recreation)
Gert Johannes Gerwel (The Presidency)
Alec Erwin (Trade and Industry)
Mac Maharaj (Transport)
Kader Asmal (Water Affairs and Forestry)
Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi (Welfare)
Laureates of the Nobel Peace Prize
1901 Henry Dunant / Frédéric Passy
1902 Élie Ducommun / Charles Gobat
1903 Randal Cremer
1904 Institut de Droit International
1905 Bertha von Suttner
1906 Theodore Roosevelt
1907 Ernesto Moneta / Louis Renault
1908 Klas Arnoldson / Fredrik Bajer
1909 A. M. F. Beernaert / Paul Estournelles de Constant
1910 International Peace Bureau
1911 Tobias Asser / Alfred Fried
1912 Elihu Root
1913 Henri La Fontaine
1917 International Committee of the Red Cross
1919 Woodrow Wilson
1920 Léon Bourgeois
1921 Hjalmar Branting / Christian Lange
1922 Fridtjof Nansen
1925 Austen Chamberlain / Charles Dawes
1926 Aristide Briand / Gustav Stresemann
1927 Ferdinand Buisson / Ludwig Quidde
1929 Frank B. Kellogg
1930 Nathan Söderblom
1931 Jane Addams / Nicholas Butler
1933 Norman Angell
1934 Arthur Henderson
1935 Carl von Ossietzky
1936 Carlos Saavedra Lamas
1937 Robert Cecil
1938 Nansen International Office for Refugees
1944 International Committee of the Red Cross
1945 Cordell Hull
1946 Emily Balch / John Mott
1947 Friends Service Council / American Friends Service Committee
1949 John Boyd Orr
1950 Ralph Bunche
1951 Léon Jouhaux
1952 Albert Schweitzer
1953 George Marshall
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
1957 Lester B. Pearson
1958 Georges Pire
1959 Philip Noel-Baker
1960 Albert Lutuli
1961 Dag Hammarskjöld
1962 Linus Pauling
1963 International Committee of the Red Cross / League of Red
1964 Martin Luther King Jr.
1968 René Cassin
1969 International Labour Organization
1970 Norman Borlaug
1971 Willy Brandt
1973 Lê Đức Thọ (declined award) / Henry Kissinger
1974 Seán MacBride / Eisaku Satō
1975 Andrei Sakharov
1976 Betty Williams / Mairead Corrigan
1977 Amnesty International
1978 Anwar Sadat / Menachem Begin
1979 Mother Teresa
1980 Adolfo Pérez Esquivel
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
1982 Alva Myrdal / Alfonso García Robles
1983 Lech Wałęsa
1984 Desmond Tutu
1985 International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
1986 Elie Wiesel
1987 Óscar Arias
1988 UN Peacekeeping Forces
1989 Tenzin Gyatso (14th Dalai Lama)
1990 Mikhail Gorbachev
1991 Aung San Suu Kyi
1992 Rigoberta Menchú
1993 Nelson Mandela / F. W. de Klerk
1994 Shimon Peres / Yitzhak Rabin / Yasser Arafat
1995 Pugwash Conferences / Joseph Rotblat
1996 Carlos Belo / José Ramos-Horta
1997 International Campaign to Ban Landmines / Jody Williams
1998 John Hume / David Trimble
1999 Médecins Sans Frontières
2000 Kim Dae-jung
2001 United Nations / Kofi Annan
2002 Jimmy Carter
2003 Shirin Ebadi
2004 Wangari Maathai
2005 International Atomic Energy Agency / Mohamed ElBaradei
2006 Grameen Bank / Muhammad Yunus
2007 Al Gore / Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
2008 Martti Ahtisaari
2009 Barack Obama
2010 Liu Xiaobo
2011 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf / Leymah Gbowee / Tawakkol Karman
2012 European Union
2013 Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
2014 Kailash Satyarthi / Malala Yousafzai
2015 Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet
2016 Juan Manuel Santos
2017 International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
Nobel Prize laureates
Kary B. Mullis (United States)
Michael Smith (Canada)
Toni Morrison (United States)
Nelson Mandela (South Africa)
Frederik Willem de Klerk (South Africa)
Russell Alan Hulse
Russell Alan Hulse (United States)
Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr.
Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr. (United States)
Physiology or Medicine
Richard J. Roberts
Richard J. Roberts (United Kingdom)
Phillip A. Sharp (United States)
Robert Fogel (United States)
Douglass North (United States)
Nobel Prize recipients
Gandhi Peace Prize laureates
Julius Nyerere (1995)
A. T. Ariyaratne
A. T. Ariyaratne (1996)
Gerhard Fischer (1997)
Ramakrishna Mission (1998)
Baba Amte (1999)
Nelson Mandela (2000)
John Hume (2001)
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Educational Trust
Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Educational Trust (2002)
Václav Havel (2003)
Coretta Scott King
Coretta Scott King (2004)
Desmond Tutu (2005)
Chandi Prasad Bhatt
Chandi Prasad Bhatt (2013)
Gro Harlem Brundtland
Fernando Henrique Cardoso
Desmond Tutu (former chair)
Nelson Mandela (founder)
Aung San Suu Kyi
Time Persons of the Year
Charles Lindbergh (1927)
Walter Chrysler (1928)
Owen D. Young
Owen D. Young (1929)
Mohandas Gandhi (1930)
Pierre Laval (1931)
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1932)
Hugh S. Johnson
Hugh S. Johnson (1933)
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1934)
Haile Selassie (1935)
Wallis Simpson (1936)
Chiang Kai-shek /
Soong Mei-ling (1937)
Adolf Hitler (1938)
Joseph Stalin (1939)
Winston Churchill (1940)
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1941)
Joseph Stalin (1942)
George Marshall (1943)
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1944)
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman (1945)
James F. Byrnes
James F. Byrnes (1946)
George Marshall (1947)
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman (1948)
Winston Churchill (1949)
The American Fighting-Man (1950)
Mohammed Mosaddeq (1951)
Elizabeth II (1952)
Konrad Adenauer (1953)
John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles (1954)
Harlow Curtice (1955)
Hungarian Freedom Fighters (1956)
Nikita Khrushchev (1957)
Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle (1958)
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1959)
George Beadle / Charles Draper / John Enders / Donald
A. Glaser /
Joshua Lederberg /
Willard Libby /
Linus Pauling / Edward
Purcell / Isidor Rabi /
Emilio Segrè /
William Shockley / Edward
Teller / Charles Townes /
James Van Allen
James Van Allen / Robert Woodward (1960)
John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy (1961)
Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII (1962)
Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. (1963)
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson (1964)
William Westmoreland (1965)
The Generation Twenty-Five and Under (1966)
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson (1967)
Apollo 8 Astronauts:
William Anders /
Frank Borman / Jim Lovell
The Middle Americans (1969)
Willy Brandt (1970)
Richard Nixon (1971)
Henry Kissinger /
Richard Nixon (1972)
John Sirica (1973)
King Faisal (1974)
Susan Brownmiller /
Kathleen Byerly /
Alison Cheek /
Jill Conway /
Betty Ford / Ella Grasso / Carla Hills / Barbara Jordan
Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King /
Susie Sharp /
Carol Sutton / Addie Wyatt (1975)
Jimmy Carter (1976)
Anwar Sadat (1977)
Deng Xiaoping (1978)
Ayatollah Khomeini (1979)
Ronald Reagan (1980)
Lech Wałęsa (1981)
The Computer (1982)
Ronald Reagan /
Yuri Andropov (1983)
Peter Ueberroth (1984)
Deng Xiaoping (1985)
Corazon Aquino (1986)
Mikhail Gorbachev (1987)
The Endangered Earth (1988)
Mikhail Gorbachev (1989)
George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush (1990)
Ted Turner (1991)
Bill Clinton (1992)
Yasser Arafat /
F. W. de Klerk
F. W. de Klerk /
Nelson Mandela /
Yitzhak Rabin (1993)
Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II (1994)
Newt Gingrich (1995)
David Ho (1996)
Andrew Grove (1997)
Bill Clinton /
Ken Starr (1998)
Jeffrey P. Bezos (1999)
George W. Bush
George W. Bush (2000)
Rudolph Giuliani (2001)
The Whistleblowers: Cynthia Cooper /
Coleen Rowley / Sherron Watkins
The American Soldier (2003)
George W. Bush
George W. Bush (2004)
The Good Samaritans:
Bill Gates /
Melinda Gates (2005)
Vladimir Putin (2007)
Barack Obama (2008)
Ben Bernanke (2009)
Mark Zuckerberg (2010)
The Protester (2011)
Barack Obama (2012)
Pope Francis (2013)
Ebola Fighters: Dr. Jerry Brown / Dr.
Kent Brantly / Ella
Watson-Stryker / Foday Gollah /
Salome Karwah (2014)
Angela Merkel (2015)
Donald Trump (2016)
The Silence Breakers (2017)
Arthur Ashe Courage Award
Arthur Ashe Courage Award winners
Named after Arthur Ashe
1998: D. Smith
2003: Pat & Kevin Tillman
2005: MacLaren & Yeboah
2006: Ahmad & Kohestani
2007: Cullen & Ringland
2008: Carlos & T. Smith
Order of Mapungubwe
2002: Nelson Mandela, Allan Cormack, FW de Klerk, Basil Schonland,
Peter Beighton, Hamilton Naki
2004: Sydney Brenner, Tshilidzi Marwala, Batmanathan Dayanand Reddy
2005: John Maxwell Coetzee, Aaron Klug, Frank Nabarro, Tebello
Nyokong, Himladevi Soodyall
2006: Selig Percy Amoils, George Ellis, Lionel Opie, Patricia Berjak
2007: Claire Penn, Sibusiso Sibisi, Valerie Mizrahi
2008: Doris Lessing, Wieland Gevers, Phuti Ngoepe, Tim Noakes,
2009: Bongani Mayosi
2010: Johann Lutjeharms, Monique Zaahl, Douglas Butterworth
2011: Pieter Steyn
2012: Oliver Reginald Tambo
2014: Malegapuru Makgoba, Glenda Gray, George Ekama, Bernie Fanaroff,
Quarraisha Abdool Karim
Ibrahim Prize recipients
Nelson Mandela (2007)
Festus Mogae (2008)
no award (2009-2010)
Pedro Pires (2011)
no award (2012-2013)
Hifikepunye Pohamba (2014)
no award (2015-2016)
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2017/2018)
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