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This month in history

Former President Nelson Mandela is born

The late President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born into the Madiba clan in the small village of Mvezo in the district of Qunu near Umtata in the Eastern Cape on 18 July 1918.

Mandela became involved in politics while a student at Fort Hare University.

On 9 October 1963 Mandela and 10 other freedom fighters went on trial for sabotage and on 12 June 1964, Mandela was sentenced to life in prison on Robben Island. From Robben Island he was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison and then Victor Verster Prison before he was released on 11 February 1990.

Mandela engaged in talks with apartheid leaders, including former President FW de Klerk, to end the oppressive apartheid regime and in 1993, Mandela and De Klerk won the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to end apartheid as peacefully as possible.

Mandela was elected president of South Africa in 1994.

In 1999, at the end of his first term in office, he voluntarily stepped down. In 2009, the United Nations declared 18 July as International Nelson Mandela Day. (Sahistory.org)