South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid

Nelson (Madiba) Rolihlahla Mandela

(July 18, 1918 - December 5, 2013)

Rolihlahla Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 at Qunu, near Umtata, the son of Nonqaphi Nosekeni and Henry Mgadla Mandela, chief councillor to the paramount chief of the Thembu. Mandela's lineage was a junior lineage of his clan. He was member of its left hand house from King Ngubencuka's third house. King Ngubencuka was king of the united Thembu kingdom around the 1830s. Though Mandela's father was chief councillor in Ngubencuka's Great House, he was recognised as an Mveso village headman by the Transkei territorial authority. He was a wealthy man with four wives and close to fifteen children. Mandela was the junior son of his father from his third wife. Mandela's father was an animist and member of the “red” Xhosa community, which was distinct for its resistance to christianisation of the eastern cape. However, his mother converted to the Methodist church. Mandela life changed when his father was expelled from his post as village headman. His mother took him and his sisters to live in Qunu, which was away from their father's place. Mandela's father died in 1928 from TB.

As a child Mandela learned to look after livestock and the significance of cattle in Xhosa societies. His move to Qunu introduced him to formal schooling and was given the new name Nelson by his teachers. Prior to his father's death, Mandela was placed under the care of his guardian and cousin, David Dalindyebo, the acting paramount chief of the Thembu at Mqhekezweni Great Place. During this period, he became a companion of Dalindyebo's son Justice. Chief Dalindyebo encouraged Mandela to continue with his studies at primary level and secondary level. Traditional education was also encouraged and in 1935 he joined the circumcision school for initiation into adult life.

Mandela matriculated at Healdtown Methodist Boarding School where White and Black teachers taught him. One of their Black history teachers, Weaver Newana used to incorporate textbook history lessons with Xhosa historical narratives. Thereafter, he attended Fort Hare University College to become a Court Interpreter. While at fort Hare, he studied Law, Politics, Anthropology, and English. At fort Hare his close friend was none other than Kaiser Mantanzima former president of the Transkei independent homeland. He also made friendship with Oliver Tambo former African National Congress (ANC) president. It was at Fort Hare that Mandela first made contact with the ANC and its nationalist politics. In 1940 Mandela was elected to the Student Representative Council but refused to take his position in the SRC because of the electoral boycott over the quality of food given to students. As a result, he was expelled from the university and returned to the Transkei.

When Mandela and his early childhood friend, Justice Dalindyebo, learned about an arranged marriage for them, they moved to Johannesburg where Mandela was employed as a mine policeman. Shortly after, he met Walter Sisulu who assisted him in obtaining articles with a legal firm. Completing a BA degree by correspondence in 1941, he then studied at the University of the Witwatersrand towards an LLB. In December 1952, Mandela and Oliver Tambo opened the first black legal partnership in the country.

Together with Sisulu, Lembede and Tambo, Mandela participated in the foundation of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) in 1944 and in 1948 he served as its national secretary. In 1949 the ANC endorsed the 'Programme of Action' submitted to its annual conference by the Youth League, and the national executive of the ANC changed character when more radical members like Mandela and Sisulu were elected to it.

Both Mandela and Sisulu were influenced by the pan Africanism of the Youth League and were distrustful of working with other racial groups, but Mandela modified his views during the 1952 Defiance Campaign, eventually becoming one of the leading proponents of the united action against government policy.

In the late 1950s Mandela became national president of the Youth League, and in 1952 was appointed national 'volunteer-in-chief' of the Defiance Campaign. In this capacity he travelled around South Africa enlisting disciplined volunteers prepared to break apartheid laws. The campaign officially opened on 26 June 1952 with Mandela and 51 others breaking curfew regulations as their first act of defiance.

In December 1952 Mandela and a number of others were arrested and charged under the Suppression of Communism Act. Mandela was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment with hard labour, suspended for two years. He was also served with a banning order prohibiting him from attending gatherings for six months, or from leaving the Johannesburg magisterial district. For the following nine years his banning orders were continually renewed. Although Mandela, by now deputy national president of the ANC, was banned from gatherings, he continued to work with small groups of Congress members. He was instrumental in the formulation of the 'M Plan' (named after him) whereby ANC branches were to be broken down into cells to cope with the possibility of underground activity.

In September 1953 renewed bans required Mandela to resign officially from the ANC. From then on, except during the year of the treason trial, Mandela's leadership was exercised secretly.

In December 1956 Mandela was one of 156 political activists arrested for and charged with high treason. Four-and-a-half years later, on 29 March 1961, Justice Rumpff found the accused not guilty. As well as being an accused, Mandela played a legal role in the trial as the original defence lawyers withdrew during the 1960 state of emergency. In 1959, with the treason trial still continuing, the ANC planned an anti-pass laws campaign. It was, however, pre-empted by the PAC, which called for mass anti-pass protest on 21 March 1960. It was during one of these protests that the Sharpeville massacre took place. Shortly thereafter, both the ANC and the PAC were banned, and the government declared a state of emergency. During the emergency approximately 1 800 political activists, including Mandela, were imprisoned without charge or trial.

An ad-hoc committee of black leaders, including Duma Nokwe, Govan Mbeki and Alfred Nzo, called an All-In Africa Conference in Pietermaritzburg in March 1961, which was attended by leaders from various political groupings. Mandela's banning order was due to expire on the eve of the conference and, anticipating its renewal, he went into hiding and made a surprise appearance at the conference. As a result, he was appointed honorary secretary of the All-In National Action Council, constituted to organise demonstrations against the proclamation of South Africa as a Republic on 31 May, to campaign for a national convention, and for a three day stay-at-home strike on 29, 30 and 31 May 1961 in support of these issues. At the convention Mandela called on the Nationalist government to convene a national convention with South African races represented to draft a new and democratic constitution for South Africa.

Evading arrest for incitement, Mandela went underground. He and Sisulu travelled secretly around the country organising the strike, and Mandela remained a fugitive for the next 17 months. Mandela's reputation for evading the police using different disguises earned him the nickname of the Black Pimpernel. In his memoirs, Mandela described these periods as the most lonesome periods of his life and the imaginations of the press about his police evasions were in front page news. He wrote that:

During those early months, when there was a warrant for my arrest and I was being pursued by the police, my outlaw existence caught the imagination of the press. Articles claiming that I had been here and there were on the front pages. Roadblocks were instituted all over the country, but the police repeatedly came up empty-handed. I was dubbed the Black Pimpernel, a somewhat derogatory adaptation of Baroness Orczy's fictional character the Scarlet Pimpernel, who daringly evaded capture during the French Revolution.

Mandela called off the three-day stay-at-home protest on its second day after massive police repression of strikers. The failure of this action was important in changing his political thinking, and he became more committed to the formation of Umkhonto We Sizwe (the Spear of the Nation) as a military wing of the ANC.

At about this time, Mandela and some of his colleagues concluded that violence in South Africa was inevitable, and it would be unreasonable for African leaders to continue with their policy of non-violence when the government met its demands with force. The decision to form Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), however, was not made by the ANC itself, but by individuals within the organisation, and Mandela became MK's first commander-in-chief in 1961. In his own words, Mandela explained the decision to form an armed wing because:

"At the beginning of June 1961, after long and anxious assessment of the South African situation, I and some colleagues came to the conclusion that as violence in this country was inevitable, it would be wrong and unrealistic for African leaders to continue preaching peace and non-violence at a time when the government met our peaceful demands with force. It was only when all else had failed, when all channels of peaceful protest had been barred to us, that the decision was made to embark on violent forms of political struggle, and to form Umkhonto we Sizwe...the Government had left us no other choice."

Early in 1962 Mandela was smuggled across the border and on 11 January made a surprise appearance at the Pan-African Freedom Movement Conference in Addis Ababa. His address to the conference, a few weeks after the first sabotage attacks by Umkhonto we Sizwe, explained and justified the turn to violent action. During this trip he received guerrilla training in Algeria before travelling to London where he met leaders of British opposition parties. He returned to South Africa in July, and on 5 August was captured near Howick, Natal. Mandela was tried in Pretoria's Old Synagogue and during this trial he decided to conduct his own defence. He also applied for the recusal of the magistrate because as a white person he was already an interested party and therefore not impartial. He also pointed out that he was not obligated to obey the laws of a white parliament, which did not represent him, and the rest of Black South Africans. In November 1962, he was sentenced to five years' imprisonment for incitement and illegally leaving the country. He served this sentence in Pretoria Central Prison.

While Mandela was in prison, police raided the underground headquarters of the African National Congress at Lilliesleaf Farm, Rivonia, arresting, among others, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Ahmed Kathrada, Dennis Goldberg and Lionel Bernstein. Police found documents relating to the manufacture of explosives, Mandela's diary of his African tour and copies of a draft memorandum - 'Operation Mayibuye' - which outlined a possible strategy of guerrilla struggle.

The Rivonia trial commenced in October 1963 and Mandela was brought from jail to join the other eight accused being tried for sabotage, conspiracy to overthrow the government by revolution, and assisting an armed invasion of South Africa by foreign troops. Mandela's statement from the dock received worldwide publicity. In these statements he outlined the ANC vision for South Africa and the democratic government they were all striving for. His famous concluding words were:

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 live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal, which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

On 12 June 1964, all eight of the accused, including Mandela, were sentenced to life imprisonment. The following night Mandela was flown to Cape Town en route to Robben Island Prison where he was held until April 1982, when he was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town. A massive 'Release Mandela Campaign' was launched in 1982, both within South Africa and abroad. This included worldwide celebrations of Mandela's 70th birthday in 1988, marked by a 12-hour music concert in London broadcast to over 50 countries. In addition, many foreign countries pressured the South African government to release Mandela, who had become the world's most famous political prisoner.

On 13 August 1988 Mandela was taken to Tygerberg hospital for treatment of fluid around the lung. It was subsequently revealed that he was suffering from tuberculosis. The following month he was transferred to the Constantiaberg Medi-Clinic where he was treated until December, when he was moved to a warder's home in the grounds of the Victor Verster Prison, near Paarl. From he was allowed to receive visitors and he was treated less like a prisoner and more like an honorary guest of the island. Because of his age and warm treatment from prison warders, some of colleagues in prison feared that he had sold the struggle.

From July 1986 onwards Mandela had contact with government representatives, firstly with Minister of Justice Kobie Coetzee, and subsequently with the Minister of Constitutional Development, Gerrit Viljoen. This eventually led to his meeting with State President P W Botha in July 1989 at Tuynhuys. In December 1989 he met the new state president, F W de Klerk. In addition to meeting government representatives, Mandela was able to meet with senior members of the United Democratic Front, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and other political groups. On 2 February 1990, in his opening of parliament speech, State President De Klerk announced the unbanning of the ANC and other political parties. Mandela was released on Sunday 11 February 1990. He immediately addressed a mass rally in the centre of Cape Town. Subsequently welcome rallies in Soweto and Durban drew hundreds of thousands of people.

In March 1990 Mandela travelled to Lusaka to meet the ANC's national executive committee. He then travelled to Sweden to meet the ANC President Oliver Tambo, but cut short the rest of his proposed trip abroad as a result of increased unrest within South Africa.

In May 1990, Mandela headed the ANC delegation, which held talks with South African government representatives at Groote Schuur. In June, he began a six-week tour of Europe, the United Kingdom, North America and Africa. His reception by heads of state, and hundreds of thousands of citizens of the countries he visited, confirmed his stature as an internationally respected leader.

In July he attended the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) summit held in Addis Ababa, but had to leave for Kenya when he contracted pneumonia. In August talks resumed with the South African government and in the same month Mandela visited Norway. This was followed by visits to Zambia, India and Australia.

In February 1991, Mandela met with Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, president of the Inkatha Freedom Party, in an attempt to put an end to the violence sweeping Natal and the Transvaal. However, despite their pledges to work towards peace, the violence continued. Mandela then issued an ultimatum to the government, setting a deadline by which it had to end the violence, and fire the Ministers of Defence and Law and Order. He indicated that the ANC would quit the negotiation process if these demands were not met. However, the government failed to meet these demands.

In April 1991 Mandela attended a meeting between the ANC and the Pan African Congress in Harare where they resolved to work together to oppose apartheid. A joint sub-committee was established to approach the European Community to reverse its decision to lift bans on steel imports from South Africa. The meeting also resolved to convene a conference of anti-apartheid organisations to support the demand for a national constituent assembly.

In June 1991 Mandela attended the OAU summit in Abuja, Nigeria, following which he travelled to the United Kingdom and Belgium. In July, at the ANC conference held in Durban, he was elected ANC president, succeeding an ailing Oliver Tambo. The following month Mandela travelled to countries in South America.

In September 1991 he signed the National Peace Accord on behalf of the ANC. This agreement between a number of political organisations, including the ANC, Inkatha Freedom Party and the National Party, established structures and procedures to attempt to end political violence which had become widespread.

In October 1991 a meeting of the Patriotic Front was held in Durban in an attempt to bring together all the anti-apartheid groupings in the country. All attended with the exception of Azanian People's Organisation. Policy regarding future negotiations was formulated and the ANC and the PAC began preparatory meetings for the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (Codesa). In November Mandela travelled to West Africa and the following month met United States President, George Bush (snr).

The first meeting of Codesa, set up to negotiate procedures for constitutional change, was held in December 1991. At the end of the plenary session, after De Klerk had raised the question of disbanding Umkhonto we Sizwe, Mandela delivered a scathing personal verbal attack on him. Mandela argued that even the head of an illegitimate, discredited minority regime should have certain moral standards.

During 1992, Mandela continued his programme of extensive international travel, visiting Tunisia, Libya and Morocco. He and State President De Klerk jointly accepted the Unesco Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize in Paris on 3 February. At the same time the two men attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

On 13 April 1992 Mandela called a press conference at which he stated that he and his wife, Winnie, had agreed to separate as a result of differences, which had arisen between them in recent months. he said that “in view of the tensions that have arisen owing to differences between ourselves on a number of issues in recent months, we have mutually agreed that a separation would be best for each of us”. He also mentioned that the decision to separate with Winnie had nothing to do with his alleged involvement in the kidnapping and death of Stompie former member of the Nelson Mandela Football club.

Later in April Mandela, FW de Klerk and Mangosuthu Buthelezi addressed a gathering of more than a million members of the Zion Christian Church at Moria, near Pietersburg, and committed themselves to end the ongoing violence and move speedily towards a political settlement.

In May 1992 the second plenary meeting of Codesa was held, but the working group dealing with constitutional arrangements deadlocked when the ANC and the government could not reach agreement on certain constitutional principles. Codesa's management committee was asked to find a way out of the logjam but by 16 June (Soweto Day) no progress had been made and the ANC called for a mass action campaign to put pressure on the South African government.

While visiting the Scandinavian countries and Czechoslovakia in May, Mandela suggested that FW De Klerk was personally responsible for the political violence in South Africa. He likened the violence in South Africa to the killing of Jews in Nazi Germany. Mandela also criticised what he felt was the stranglehold imposed on the South African press, which represented white-owned conglomerates; however, he expressed support for critical, independent and investigative press.

Following the Boipatong massacre of June 1992, Mandela indicated that negotiations with the government would not be resumed until ANC demands for an election to a constituent assembly, a transitional government, and state steps to end political violence were met. At the end of June 1992 Mandela addressed the Heads of States Summit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in Dakar, Senegal. As a result, the OAU agreed to raise the issue of South Africa's political violence at the United Nations. During July, Mandela and representatives of other South African parties addressed the UN Security Council. Mandela asked the UN to provide continuous monitoring of the violence, and submitted documents, which he claimed, proved the 'criminal intent', of the government, both in the instigation of violence and in failing to halt it. He maintained that the government was conducting a 'cold-hearted strategy of state terror to impose its will on negotiations'.

During July 1992, Mandela visited the Olympic games in Barcelona, where a South African team was participating for the first time in 30 years. On his return to South Africa, he involved himself in the ANC's mass action campaign calling for disciplined and peaceful protest.

Following violent incidents between ANC supporters in the Transvaal, Mandela admitted that the organisation had disciplinary problems with some of its followers, particularly in township self-defence units. He promised to take action against those who abused positions of power and authority.

During 1992, Mandela indicated that the ANC had shifted its economic thinking, particularly with regard to nationalisation. This was no longer viewed as an ideological imperative, but merely as one of the policy options. He continued to stress the need to redress economic imbalances, but noted that the ANC was aware of both local and international business hostility towards nationalisation.

In September 1992 Mandela indicated that he was prepared to meet De Klerk on condition that he agreed to the fencing off of hostels, the banning of the public display of dangerous weapons and the release of political prisoners. They met at the end of the month and these bi-lateral talks resulted in the signing of a Record of Understanding by the two leaders, which enabled negotiations to be resumed.

During 1992 and 1993 Mandela continually made calls for peace. Following the assassination of the South African Communist Party leader, Chris Hani, in April 1993, he again called for restraint, discipline and peace, but at a rally in Soweto's Jabulani Stadium he was booed by a militant crowd when he tried to convey a message of peace in the wake of the killing.

In May 1993, Mandela caused a political row when he suggested that South Africa's voting age should be lowered to enable 14-year old children to vote. However, he was persuaded to accept that only people aged 18 or more could vote in the April 1994 elections.

In September 1993, while on a visit to the United States of America, he urged world business leaders to lift economic sanctions and to invest in South Africa. During the latter half of 1993 and early 1994 Mandela campaigned on behalf of the ANC for the 1994 election and addressed a large number of rallies and people's forums. At the same time, he continued to attempt to draw the Freedom Alliance partners (white right wing groups, the IFP, Bophuthatswana and Ciskei governments) into the election process. However, he ruled out the possibility of delaying the election date to accommodate them.

In March 1994, following a civil uprising in Bophuthatswana, which led to the downfall of the Mangope government, Mandela guaranteed striking civil servants their jobs, but harshly criticised the looting that had occurred during the unrest. In April, last minute talks were held in the Kruger Park between Mandela, De Klerk, Buthelezi and Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini to try to break the deadlock on IFP participation in the elections. The meeting was unsuccessful and was followed by an attempt at international mediation. This, too, failed, but a last minute effort by Kenyan academic, Washington Okumu, brought the IFP back into the election process. Mandela and De Klerk then signed an agreement regarding the future status of the Zulu King.

Mandela contested the April 1994 election as the head of the ANC for the National Assembly. He personally voted in Inanda, Durban, on 27 April 1994 and early in May the Independent Electoral Commission announced that the ANC had won 62% of the national vote. Mandela subsequently indicated he had been relieved that the ANC had not achieved a two-thirds majority in the election, as this would allay fears that it would unilaterally re-write the constitution. He stated that he stood for a government of national unity with each party sharing in the exercise of power. On 9 May 1994 Mandela was elected unopposed as President of South Africa in the first session of the National Assembly. His presidential inauguration took place the next day at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and was attended by the largest gathering of international leaders ever in held in South Africa, as well as about 100 000 celebrants on the lawns in front of the building. The ceremony was televised and broadcast internationally. In his inaugural speech Mandela called for a 'time of healing' and stated that his government would fight against discrimination of any kind. He pledged to enter into a covenant to build a society in which all South Africans, black and white, could walk tall without fear, assured of their rights to human dignity 'a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world'.

In Mandela's State-of-the-Nation speech to parliament in May he announced that R2.5 billion would be allocated in the 1994/95 budget for the government's Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). His pragmatic economic policy was welcomed by business in general.

Mandela continued to draw the right white wing into the negotiation process and in May 1994 held a breakthrough meeting with the leader of the Conservative Party (CP), Ferdie Hartzenberg. Negotiations also involved a possible meeting with AWB leader Eugene Terre Blanche.

In June Mandela attended the OAU summit held in Tunis and was appointed second vice-president of the organisation. The following month he held talks with his Angolan, Mozambican and Zairean counterparts in an attempt to further peace-making efforts in Angola. UNITA leader, Jonas Savimbi, welcomed his participation in the peace process.

In September 1994 Mandela made a crucial speech at the annual conference of the Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (Cosatu) where he called on the labour movement to transform itself from a liberation movement to one which would assist in the building of a new South Africa. He warned that workers would lose their jobs if production costs rose because of unnecessary labour unrest and he called on workers to assist in making the ANC's RDP programme work.

In July 1994 Mandela underwent eye surgery for a cataract. The operation was complicated by the fact that his tear glands were damaged by the alkalinity of the stone at Robben Island where he had done hard labour breaking rocks.

In January 1995 the government of national unity nearly collapsed over an alleged secret attempt by two former cabinet ministers and 3 500 police to obtain indemnity on the eve of the April 1994 elections. At a cabinet meeting on 18 January, Mandela attacked Deputy President De Klerk stating that he did not believe that De Klerk was unaware of the indemnity applications. He went on to question De Klerk's commitment to the RDP programme. At a press conference on 20 January De Klerk maintained that this attack on his integrity and good faith could seriously jeopardise the future of the government of national unity.

In April 1995 Mandela fired his estranged wife, Winnie, from her post as Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, following a series of controversial issues in which she was involved. She challenged her dismissal in the Supreme Court, claiming that it was unconstitutional. She obtained an affidavit from IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi to the effect that he had not, as a leader of a party in the government of national unity, been consulted about her dismissal. This was a constitutional requirement. Winnie Mandela was then briefly reinstated before being dismissed again, Mandela having consulted with all party leaders involved in the government of national unity.

In May 1995, following a dispute between the IFP and the ANC regarding international mediation for the new constitution, Buthelezi called on Zulus to 'rise and resist' any imposed constitutional dispensation. Mandela accused Buthelezi of encouraging violence and attempting to ferment an uprising against central government. In this context, he threatened to cut off central government funding to Kwazulu Natal, indicating that he would not allow public funds to be used to finance an attempt to overthrow the constitution by violent means. Although a subsequent meeting between the two leaders seemed cordial in tone, the matter of mediation remained an unresolved point of conflict.

Mandela has travelled frequently since 1992, visiting the United Kingdom, Belgium, Portugal, the USA, Zambia and Taiwan. He has received a number of joint awards with FW De Klerk including the Prince of the Asturias Prize for International Co-operation (Spain 1992), the Philadelphia Liberty Medal (USA, 1993); the Nobel Peace Prize (Norway, 1993); and has received honorary degrees from over fifty Universities around the world. He donated part of the Nobel Peace Prize award to charities for children and also announced that he would contribute R150.000 of his annual salary to a presidential trust fund created to aid street children and child detainees. Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, was published in 1994, and soon became one of the year's best selling books in South Africa.

In 1999 Mandela and Ketumile Masire, President of Botswana, set an unprecedented example for African leaders by voluntarily relinquishing their position as president of their respective countries. For Mandela, the decision earned him renewed reputation because he only served only one term in office. He had also resigned as the president of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1997 Mafikeng Congress.

In June 2004 Mandela called press conference to announce his retirement from active politics and public life. During his retirement speech he had media commentators and members of the public at stitches when he said “don't call me I'll call you”. However he continued to engage in many social programmes and community development through his Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and Nelson Mandela Foundation established in 1995 and 1999 respectively. He stepped up to wage a war against HIV/ADIS throughout the world. He gave his Robben Island prison number 46664 to host HIV/AIDS awareness drive music concert throughout the world. In 2005, in an attempt to destigmatise HIV and AIDS, he came out openly to announce that his son Makgatho Mandela, from his first wife Evelyn Ntoko, died of AIDS. Mandela is a recipient of numerous awards and honours both within South Africa and from outside South Africa. The continual invitation for him to receive more awards and honours prompted him to make a public request that there are leaders who played an important role in the liberation struggle and democratisation of South Africa that should also be recognised and honoured like him.

Mandela had a son and a daughter from his first marriage to, Evelyn Ntoko. Their third child was killed in a car accident. In 1958 he married Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela, from whom he separated in 1996, and they have two daughters. He has eighteen grandchildren. On his eightieth birthday 18 July 1998, Mandela married Graca Machel. On retirement, Mandela became chairman of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Sources:

S. Gastrow, 1988. Who's Who in South African Politics, No.5.

Lodge, T. 2005. Nelson Mandela: early childhood, Paper presented at the Department of Anthropology, School of Social Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

http://www.anc.org.za/people/mandela.html
http://people.africadatabase.org/people/data/person2922.html .
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/mandela/



This biography is from South African History Online. Used by permission. 
AODL African Studies Center MSU Matrix NEH