Nelson Mandela Timeline

Nelson Mandela timeline

Nelson Mandela timeline

Nelson Mandela, in full Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, (born July 18, 1918, Mvezo, Cape Province, Union of South Africa [now South Africa]—died December 5, 2013, Johannesburg, Gauteng), 1st democratically elected President of South Africa (1994–99). Revered across the world for his unflinching dedication to democracy, peace and reconciliation following the end of apartheid, Nelson Mandela was without a doubt South Africa’s greatest leader and politician. Born into the Xhosa royal family, Mandela would spend close to three decades (1962-1990) imprisoned for his fierce resistance against institutionalized racism and brutal racial segregation laws in apartheid South Africa.

The timeline below captures the major events that took place in the life of Nelson Mandela, Africa’s greatest icon of democracy and social justice.

1918: Born in a village in Umtata, Cape Province (July 18)

1915: Mandela’s father- Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa Mandela – is made a local chief and advisor to the king of the Thembu People

1925: Enrolls at Methodist primary school near Qunu

1930: After the death of his father, Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa Mandela, he is placed under the guardianship of a local Thembu elder known as Jongintaba Dalindyebo

1934: Goes through a Thembu circumscision called the Ulwaluko Circumcision

1937: Attends the Wesleyan College at Fort Beaufort

1939: Secures admission to the University College of Fort Hare

1940: Got expelled from school

1941: Takes up a security officer position in a bid to avoid an arranged marriage

1942: Graduates with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Africa

1942: Participates in meetings of the African National Congress (ANC)

1943: Earns a BA from Fort Hare and proceeds to study law at Wits University

1944: Involved in the setting up of the Youth League of the ANC

1944: Marries Evelyn Ntoko Mase; the couple went on to have four children – Thembekile (1945); Makaziwe (1947); Makgatho (1950); Makaziwe (1954)

1948: The ANC elects him as the national secretary of the Youth League

1952: Features heavily in the Defiance Campaign of 1950s

1952: Elected Transvaal ANC President

1952: Charged under the Suppression of Communism Act and is sentenced to nine months in prison

1952: Establishes a law firm called Oliver Tambo – the first black law firm in the country

1953: Develops the famous M-Plan for the ANC

1956: Briefly put behind bars and charged with treason

1958: Marriage with Evelyn Mase comes to an end with a  divorce

1958: Marries Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela; the marriage produces two children – Zenani (1959) and Zindzi (1960)

1960: Taken aback by the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960; the authorities imprison him along with several members of the ANC

1960: The ANC is outlawed by the authorities (April 8)

1961: Establishes the underground militant group known as the Umkhonto weSizwe (Spear of the Nation)

1962: Goes into exile outside South Africa and returns with ample military training and experience

1962: The authorities arrest him and other ANC members in KwaZulu-Natal

1962: Slapped with a five-year prison sentence

1963: Transferred to a prison on Robben Island (May 27) only for him to be brought back to Pretoria Local Prison on June 12.

1963: Court proceedings begin in what became known as the Rivonia Trial

1964: Convicted of treason and sentenced to life in prison (June 12)

1982: Authorities move Nelson Mandela and a number of political prisoners to the Pollsmoor Prison

1985: Turns down the apartheid government’s conditional offer which requires him to reject his anti-segregation struggles

1985: Undergoes a prostate surgery at the Volks Hospital

1988: Doctors at Tygerberg Hospital diagnose him with tuberculosis

1990: The ban on the ANC is lifted

1990: After 27 years, he is released from prison

1990: Gets elected Deputy President of the ANC

1993: Along with President FW de Klerk, Nelson Mandela receives the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize

April 27, 1994: Casts his first ever vote in his life

May 9, 1994: The South African Parliament elects him president of the nation

May 10, 1990: Sworn into office as the President of South Africa – the country’s first black president

December 14, 1990: Releases “Long Walk to Freedom”, an autobiography that went on to make huge waves across the world

1995: Sets up the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund

1996: Marriage to Winnie Mandela ends in a divorce

1998: Gets married to Graça Machel, a former Mozambican politician and widow of former president of Mozambique Samora Machel

1999: Opts not to seek re-election; instead he devotes his time to his foundation – the Nelson Mandela Foundation

2001: Doctors diagnose him with prostate cancer

2003: Sets up the Mandela Rhodes Foundation

2004: Removes himself from public life to focus on his family

2005: Makgatho – his eldest son – dies of AIDS

2007: Mandela’s grandson is made chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council

2009: Celebrates his 90th birthday

2010: In the lead up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup Finals in South Africa, Mandela participates in a FIFA World Cup event, where he is presented with the trophy

June 11, 2010: Loses his great-granddaughter Zenani in a car crash

October 12, 2010: Releases his second book titled “Conversations with Myself”

2011: Then First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama and her children pay a visit to Mandela

December, 2012: Spends three weeks in hospital

March, 2013: Moves in and out of hospital on two occasions

July 18, 2013: Attains the age of 95

December 5, 2013: Dies at his Johannesburg home; respiratory complications were the cause death

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