Nelson Mandela


As leader of the African National Congress (ANC), Nelson Mandela was a major voice of opposition to South Africa’s racially discriminating Apartheid government. After years of unrelenting protests, which garnered international attention to the plight of black South Africans, he was convicted of sabotage and sentenced to life in prison. In 1990, President F. W. de Klerk announced that Mandela would be free after spending 27 years behind bars. In 1994, Mandela won the presidency in South Africa’s first all-inclusive elections. In 1999, at 80 years old, he opted out of another run for presidency. On December 5, 2013, the 95-year-old freedom fighter passed away.

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