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Nelson Mandela International Day, July 18
For freedom, justice and democracy

Chronology of Nelson Mandela's Life

18 July 1918
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela born in Mvezo, South Africa

Joins the African National Congress (ANC)

Founds the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) with others

Elected as National Secretary of the ANCYL

Launch of the “Defiance” Campaign, a massive civil disobedience campaign against unjust laws.
Mandela is elected National Volunteer-in-Chief for the campaign

1956 to 1961              
Mandela one of 156 accused in the Treason Trial

21 March 1960           
Sharpeville massacre, during which 69 men, women and children are killed and about 200 wounded.
The government soon declares a state of emergency and arrests about 18,000 protesters.  The ANC is banned and Mandela goes underground

Formation of the ANC’s armed movement, Umkhonto we Sizwe (“Spear of the Nation”), with Mandela as commander-in-chief

Mandela travels to other parts of Africa and Europe

5 August 1962           
Mandela arrested for illegal exit from the country and incitement to strike. He is convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment

July 1963                    
Arrest of prominent ANC leaders at Rivonia. Mandela is accused with them

12 June 1964              
Sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to Robben Island (later moved to Pollsmoor Prison and then Victor Verster Prison)

Amidst prolonged mass protests against the apartheid system, the ANC initiates talks with the regime

February 1990            
Released from prison

Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (along with F.W. de Klerk)

27 April 1994             
First multi-racial elections held in South Africa with full enfranchisement, with the ANC winning a strong majority

10 May 1994              
Inaugurated as South Africa’s first democratically elected president, standing down in 1999 after one term

5 December 2013
Nelson Mandela passed away in Johannesburg at the age of 95