Nelson Mandela has played an important and controversial
role in the history of South Africa and establishing South
Africa as a Democratic country. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was
born in Umtata, in the Transkei territory of South Africa. His
Mandela became a lawyer and, in 1944, joined the African
National Congress(ANC). Mandela gain national importance as a
black leader for protest against the government and apartheid which occurred in the 1950’s. In 1956, Mandela was arrested and charged with treason and other serious crimes, but was found not guilty in 1961. He began to protest again against apartheid and the government. He went into hiding and was arrested in 1962, and was convicted of sabotage and conspiracy and sentenced to life imprisonment on July 1964.

Even in prison Mandela was able continue his struggle for a nonracial, united and democratic South Africa based on one-person one-vote on a common voters’ roll. While in prison he wrote many writings and speeches which have been collected and published. He received many international prizes as well as a number of honorary doctorates from universities.

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On February 11, 1990 Nelson Mandela was free from prison on Robbed Island by Frederick W. de Klerk. De Klerk freed Mandela because he know that and to abolish apartheid was the only why to protect South Africa from destruction. This destruction would have been caused by rent strikes, hunger strikes, and boycotts which were some of the Africans used. The MDM (Mass Democratic Movement) was the combined black groups opposed to apartheid and the white government which included the ANC which Mandela was president of. The MDM called a two day general strike in which 3 million South Africans took part on the day elections were held. South Africa depends on the labor of its 6 million black workers who have the power to bring the economy to a halt.

We study Mandela because on April 27,1994 he became the first black President of South Africa. South Africa which is the richest and most developed country in Africa. South Africa produces more gold than any other country. South Africa has mainly all mineral except for oil. His party ANC has become the majority in the national assembly the first black majority ever in South Africa.