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Nelson Mandela: Timeline

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  • 1940s

    • 1940: The paramount chief's grandfather was the regent Jongintaba Dalindyebo, who had arranged a marriage for Mandela, which he eluded by fleeing to Johannesburg in 1940. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
  • 1950s

    • 1952: He led prominently in the ANC's 1952 Defiance Campaign and the 1955 Congress of the People, whose adoption of the Freedom Charter provided the fundamental basis of the anti-apartheid cause. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • 1952: From 1952–1959, a new class of black activists known as the Africanists disrupted ANC activities in the townships, demanding more drastic steps against the National Party regime. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • 1955: The Africanists ridiculed the 1955 Freedom Charter Kliptown Conference for the concession of the 100,000-strong ANC to just a single vote in a Congressional alliance. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • 1956: The marathon Treason Trial of 1956–1961 followed, with all defendants receiving acquittals. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • December 5, 1956: Initially committed to nonviolent resistance, Mandela and 150 others were arrested on 5 December 1956 and charged with treason. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • 1957: The couple broke up in 1957 after 13 years, divorcing under the multiple strains of his constant absences, devotion to revolutionary agitation, and the fact she was a Jehovah's Witness, a religion which requires political neutrality. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
  • 1960s

    • 1960s: "The Gandhian influence dominated freedom struggles on the African continent right up to the 1960s because of the power it generated and the unity it forged among the apparently powerless." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • December 16, 1961: Mandela went on to explain how they developed the Manifesto of Umkhonto we Sizwe on 16 December 1961 intent on exposing the failure of the National Party's policies after the economy would be threatened by foreigners' unwillingness to risk investing in the country. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • December 16, 1961: Fellow ANC member Wolfie Kadesh explains the bombing campaign led by Mandela: "When we knew that we [sic] going to start on 16 December 1961, to blast the symbolic places of apartheid, like pass offices, native magistrates courts, and things like that ... - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • 1962: "Why is it that no African in the history of this country has ever had the honour of being tried by his own kith and kin, by his own flesh and blood?" - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • 1962: "Can anyone honestly and seriously suggest that in this type of atmosphere the scales of justice are evenly balanced?" - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • 1962: "Why is it that in this courtroom I face a white magistrate, am confronted by a white prosecutor, and escorted into the dock by a white orderly?" - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • 1962: "The white man makes all the laws, he drags us before his courts and accuses us, and he sits in judgement over us." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • 1962: " All the rights and privileges to which I have referred are monopolised by whites, and we enjoy none of them." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • 1962: "I will tell Your Worship why: the real purpose of this rigid colour-bar is to ensure that the justice dispensed by the courts should conform to the policy of the country, however much that policy might be in conflict with the norms of justice accepted in judiciaries throughout the civilised world." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • August 5, 1962: Mandela was arrested after living on the run for seventeen months, and was imprisoned in the Johannesburg Fort. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • October 25, 1962: Mandela was sentenced to five years in prison. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • July 11, 1963: While Mandela was imprisoned, police arrested prominent ANC leaders on 11 July 1963, at Liliesleaf Farm, Rivonia, north of Johannesburg. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • April 20, 1964: In his statement from the dock at the opening of the defence case in the trial on 20 April 1964 at Pretoria Supreme Court, Mandela laid out the reasoning in the ANC's choice to use violence as a tactic. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • June 11, 1964: Two years later on 11 June 1964, a verdict had been reached concerning his previous engagement in the African National Congress (ANC). - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • June 12, 1964: All except Rusty Bernstein were found guilty, but they escaped the gallows and were sentenced to life imprisonment on 12 June 1964. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • 1967: "Israel should withdraw from all the areas which it won from the Arabs in 1967, and in particular Israel should withdraw completely from the Golan Heights, from south Lebanon and from the West Bank." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • 1969: Thembi was killed in a car crash in 1969 at the age of twenty-five, while Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island, and Mandela was not allowed to attend the funeral. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
  • 1970s

    • 1973: Mandela still languished in prison when his daughter Zenani was married to Prince Thumbumuzi Dlamini in 1973, elder brother of King Mswati III of Swaziland. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • February 11, 1975: She was among the members of the United Democratic Front who met with Nelson Mandela prior to his release from Pollsmoor Prison on February 11, 1990. - Ela Gandhi, Wikipedia.
  • 1980s

    • 1980s: "The African National Congress was still setting the pace, being the first major political formation in South Africa to commit itself firmly to a Bill of Rights, which we published in November 1990." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • March, 1982: Mandela was transferred from Robben Island to Pollsmoor Prison, along with other senior ANC leaders Walter Sisulu, Andrew Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada and Raymond Mhlaba. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • February, 1985: President P.W. Botha offered Mandela conditional release in return for renouncing armed struggle. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • February 25, 1985: "Only free men can negotiate; prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • November, 1985: The first meeting between Mandela and the National Party government came in November 1985 when Kobie Coetsee met Mandela in Volks Hospital in Cape Town where Mandela was recovering from prostate surgery. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • 1988: Mandela was moved to Victor Verster Prison and would remain there until his release. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
  • 1990s


    • 1990

      • February 11, 1990: Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison in Paarl on 11 February 1990. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
      • February 11, 1990: Following his release from prison on 11 February 1990, Mandela supported reconciliation and negotiation, and helped lead the transition towards multi-racial democracy in South Africa. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
      • February 11, 1990: Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison in Paarl on 11 February 1990. - History of cricket in South Africa from 1970–71 to 1990, Wikipedia.
      • February 11, 1990: Hours after being released from prison on 11 February 1990, Nelson Mandela made his first public speech in decades from the balcony of the Cape Town City Hall, heralding the beginning of a new era for South Africa. - History of Cape Town, Wikipedia.
      • February 2, 1990: State President F.W. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
      • February 11, 1990: "I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
      • February 11, 1990: In one of the most famous moments marking the end of apartheid, Nelson Mandela made his first public speech in decades on 11 February 1990 from the balcony of Cape Town City Hall hours after being released. - Cape Town, Wikipedia.
      • 1990: "The mass campaign of defiance and other actions of our organization and people can only culminate in the establishment of democracy" - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
      • 1990: "There must be an end to white monopoly on political power, and a fundamental restructuring of our political and economic systems to ensure that the inequalities of apartheid are addressed and our society thoroughly democratized." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.

    • 1991

      • 1991: The ANC held its first national conference in South Africa after its unbanning, electing Mandela as President of the organisation. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
      • November, 1991: President Mandela took a particular interest in helping to resolve the long-running dispute between Gaddafi's Libya, on the one hand, and the United States and Britain on the other, over bringing to trial the two Libyans who were indicted in November 1991 and accused of sabotaging Pan Am Flight 103, which crashed at the Scottish town of Lockerbie on 21 December 1988, with the loss of 270 lives. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.

    • 1992

      • June, 1992: The talks broke down following the Boipatong massacre in June 1992 when Mandela took the ANC out of the negotiations, accusing De Klerk's government of complicity in the killings. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
      • September, 1992: However, talks resumed following the Bisho massacre in September 1992, when the spectre of violent confrontation made it clear that negotiations were the only way forward. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.

    • 1993


    • 1994

      • April 27, 1994: South Africa's first multi-racial elections in which full enfranchisement was granted were held on 27 April 1994. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
      • April 27, 1994: While some riots did follow the assassination, the negotiators were galvanised into action, and soon agreed that democratic elections should take place on 27 April 1994, just over a year after Hani's assassination. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
      • 1994: "To all those in the African National Congress and the democratic movement who worked so hard these last few days and through these many decades, I thank you and honour you." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
      • 1994: "We dedicate this day to all the heroes and heroines in this country and the rest of the world who sacrificed in many ways and surrendered their lives so that we could be free." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
      • 1994: "I promise that I will do my best to be worthy of the faith and confidence you have placed in me and my organisation, the African National Congress." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
      • 1994: "We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
      • 1994: "We thank all our distinguished international guests for having come to take possession with the people of our country of what is, after all, a common victory for justice, for peace, for human dignity." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
      • 1994: "Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity's belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
      • 1994: "We are both humbled and elevated by the honour and privilege that you, the people of South Africa, have bestowed on us, as the first President of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist government." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
      • 1994: "I hold out a hand of friendship to the leaders of all parties and their members, and ask all of them to join us in working together to tackle the problems we face as a nation." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
      • 1994: Mandela became the oldest elected President of South Africa when he took office at the age of 75 in 1994. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
      • 1994: "I raise a glass to you all for working so hard to achieve what can only be called a small miracle." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
      • 1994: "We trust that you will continue to stand by us as we tackle the challenges of building peace, prosperity, non-sexism, non-racialism and democracy." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
      • 1994: "You have shown such a calm, patient determination to reclaim this country as your own, - and joy that we can loudly proclaim from the rooftops — free at last!" - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
      • 1994: "All this we owe both to ourselves and to the peoples of the world who are so well represented here today." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
      • November, 1994: – six months after his election as president – Mandela formally proposed that South Africa should be the venue for the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
      • November, 1994: President Nelson Mandela offered South Africa as a neutral venue for the trial but this was rejected by the then British prime minister, John Major. - Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial, Wikipedia.
      • November 15, 1994: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and South African President Nelson Mandela met in Lusaka on November 15, 1994 to boost support symbolically for the protocol. - Angolan Civil War, Wikipedia.
      • November 15, 1994: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and South African President Nelson Mandela met in Lusaka on November 15, 1994 to boost support symbolically for the protocol. - 1990s in Angola, Wikipedia.

    • 1995

      • 1995: Mandela encouraged black South Africans to get behind the previously hated Springboks (the South African national rugby team) as South Africa hosted the 1995 Rugby World Cup. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.

    • 1996


    • 1997

      • 1997: "When in 1977, the United Nations passed the resolution inaugurating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, it was asserting the recognition that injustice and gross human rights violations were being perpetrated in Palestine." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
      • 1997: "We would be beneath our own reason for existence as government and as a nation, if the resolution of the problems of the Middle East did not feature prominently on our agenda." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
      • August 28, 1997: It was enacted by the Parliament of South Africa and signed by President Nelson Mandela on 28 August 1997. - First Amendment of the Constitution of South Africa, Wikipedia.

    • 1998


    • 1999

      • January 19, 1999: The monument was inaugurated by Joaquim Chissano and Nelson Mandela on 19 January 1999. - Samora Machel Monument, Wikipedia.
      • 1999: Nelson Mandela had strongly oppossed the 1999 NATO intervention in Kosovo and called it an attempt by the world's powerful nations to police the entire world. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
      • 1999: "After he retired the presidency in 1999, he went on to become an advocate for a variety of social and human rights organizations and greater international cooperation." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
  • 2000s

    • 2000: He gave the closing address at the XIII International AIDS Conference in 2000, in Durban, South Africa. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • January 31, 2001: At the end of their nine-month trial, the verdict was announced on 31 January 2001. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • July, 2001: Mandela was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • 2002: "If the United States and Britain go to the United Nations and the United Nations says we have concrete evidence of the existence of these weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and we feel that we must do something about it, we would all support it." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • 2002: "There is no doubt that the United States now feels that they are the only superpower in the world and they can do what they like." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • 2002: "He went around briefing the allies of the United States of America and asking for their support for the war in Afghanistan." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • 2002: "He knows the disastrous effect of international tension and war, when innocent people are going to die, young men are going to die." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • 2002: "Colin Powell commanded the United States army in peacetime and in wartime during the Gulf war." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • 2002: "But now that you've had black secretary generals like Boutros Boutros Ghali, like Kofi Annan, they do not respect the United Nations." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • 2002: " The United States has made serious mistakes in the conduct of its foreign affairs, which have had unfortunate repercussions long after the decisions were taken." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • 2002: "Because my impression of the president is that this is a man with whom you can do business." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • 2002: "But a situation of this nature does not need an individual, it needs an organization like the United Nations to mediate." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • 2003: He had already lent his support to the 46664 AIDS fundraising campaign, named after his prison number. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • January 6, 2005: His son, Makgatho Mandela, died of AIDS on 6 January 2005. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • 2006: The two remaining trustees of the Nelson Mandela Trust launched an application against Ayob for disbursing money from the trust without their consent. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • January 30, 2007: Mandela even took part in the 29–30 January 2007 conference in New Delhi marking the 100th anniversary of Gandhi's introduction of satyagraha (non-violent resistance) in South Africa. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • February, 2007: The dispute again made headlines in February 2007 when, during a hearing in the Johannesburg High Court, Ayob promised to pay R700 000 to Mandela, which Ayob had transferred into trusts for Mandela's children, and apologised,[142][143] although he later claimed that he was the victim of a "vendetta", by Mandela. - Nelson Mandela, Wikipedia.
    • September 21, 2007: "I heard somebody say, "Now where's Mandela?" Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas." - Nelson Mandela, Wikiquote.
    • September 21, 2007: The Nelson Mandela Foundation is assuring the public that the former South African president is still alive, after comments by U.S. - September 2007, Wikipedia.
    • October 21, 2009: Former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela denies writing a foreword praising Republic of the Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso's biography, Straight Speaking for Africa. - October 2009, Wikipedia.
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