Nelson Mandela's release

20311 February, 17:58 / Source:
In 1944, the 26-year-old lawyer Nelson Mandela joined the ANC, South Africa’s oldest political organization. Subsequently, he became the leader of the Johannesburg youth wing of the ANC, was elected deputy president of the ANC.

Following the principle of non-violent struggle against apartheid, in 1960, after a brutal massacre of a peaceful demonstration in Sharpelville, Mandela contributed to the creation of a semi-specialized ANC unit, which soon began a guerrilla war against the government of the South African white minority.

In 1961, Mandela was first arrested on suspicion of collaborating with partisans, but his guilt was not proven and he was released. But a year later he was arrested again - this time for illegally crossing the border of the country. Mandela received 5 years in prison, and in 1964, together with other leaders of the ANC, was sentenced to life imprisonment in the 1961 case.
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Mandela spent 18 of 27 years of his sentence in Robben Island prison, where he was kept in brutal conditions - a small cell without a bed, permission to receive and send two letters a year, one 30-minute visitor’s visit during the year.

Mandela was not broken by such conditions of imprisonment and he became a symbol of the anti-racist movement in South Africa. This attracted international attention to his personality and the authorities were forced to fundamentally change his conditions of detention - Mandela spent the last years in more comfortable conditions, in fact being under house arrest.

In 1989, President de Klerk came to power in South Africa, who began to reform the country's political system, which called for the destruction of apartheid. He legalized the activities of the ANC, and in February 1990 ordered the release of Nelson Mandela from prison. On this occasion, in many cities of the country, many thousands of meetings and demonstrations took place, which led to clashes with the police and the death of about 30 people.

After his release, Nelson Mandela represented the interests of the ANC at negotiations with the white minority government for the abolition of apartheid, and in 1993, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Wilém de Klerk. In 1994, the ANC won the first free elections in South Africa, Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa and remained in that post until 1999.
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