Mandela, the great South African statesman, dies at 95

mandela

Nelson Mandela, former South African President and global icon, died today at the age of 95 .

Mandela was South Africa’s first black president, was jailed for 27 years for his advocacy of civil rights of the black community in his country, and was Nobel Peace Prize. A transverse leader, statesman of soul that knew how to end racial segregation.

Madiba, as he is affectionately known in his country, was born on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, a village of 300 inhabitants near Umtata in the Transkei.

In 1942 he became a lawyer and two years later he joined the African National Congress (ANC), a movement that fought against racial oppression. His ideology was an African socialism, nationalist, anti-racist and anti-imperialist.

In 1948 the National Party reach power in South Africa an institutionalized racial segregation created by the apartheid regime.

In 1964 Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment after a tour of several countries in which he made propaganda of his cause. And there began the myth that became so big inside and outside his country. He was 27 years in prison and became an icon of human rights.

In 1984 the government tried to end so uncomfortable myth, offering freedom if he agreed to settle in one of the Bantustans, “independent territories” where blacks were segregated , Mandela refused the offer .

Finally in 1990, Frederik De Klerk, the last president of the Republic by the National Party, freed Mandela and turned interlocutor to negotiate the process of democratization. Mandela and De Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Mandela was the first black president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. After his famous victory he said: “Never happen that this beautiful land experience the oppression of one over the other.”

On assuming office as president gave up a third of the salary and created the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. ” If I had not been in prison, I do not know if it had been so good with children. Being imprisoned for 27 years without seeing children is a terrible experience ,” he said .

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