NELSON MANDELA-PUC History Notes - MahitiLok

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The name Nelson Mandela is synonymous with the freedom struggle of South Africa. He is a freedom fighter of South Africa. He was determined to free South Africa from the White Regime.

In the Second half of the 17th century, the South African country was invaded by the Dutch who very soon colonized South Africa. In the 20th century, South Africa passed into the hands of the British. The Dutch and The British government subjugated the South Africans politically, economically and socially. The Black of South Africa comprised nearly 80% of the population but had to live in 13% of land. The White Regime created townshands for the black called ‘BANTUSTHANS’ which lacked basic amenities like drinking water, drainage, electricity and so on the blacks had no right to vote and there was no black representative in the South Africa parliament. The Blacks were forced to carry passes with them. They were paid meager wages and undertook menial jobs. Public places like parks, restaurants, cinema houses, etc, were closed for them. Thus the Blacks were not integrated in the main stream of the South African society. They were segregated on the basis of the colour. This policy of racial segregation is called as APARTHEID, which means Apartness – The Blacks being kept apart from the Whites.

It was under these circumstances that the freedom struggle in South Africa began. In 1912 was founded the African National Congress (ANC) on the lines of Indian National Congress. The freedom struggle of South Africa derived of India and the leadership of Gandhiji. Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo are some of the first freedom fighters of South Africa. The most important leader is Nelson Mandela.

Early Life:

He was born in 1918 at a place called ‘KEVENU’. His father is Henry Mandela, a tribal chief Mandela studied law and became the first black South African to practice law. As a student he took part in protest, marches and demonstration s. He joined the ANC and became the youth president of the ANC. As all the moderate methods to win freedom failed, the ANC adopted extremist policies. Even Nelson Mandela did the same. As a result of the SHARPVILLE MASSACRE of 1963, Mandela and his colleagues were arrested and the ANC was banned. This event shocked the South Africans. And the White Regime imposed severe restrictions upon the Blacks.

Under the Presidentship of Peter Butha, APARTHEID became severe. Countries of the world criticized the White Regime and the UNO imposed SANCTIONS (EMBARGO) against South Africa. Thus the country was cut off from the rest of the world. Because of Sanctions the White Regime of South Africa suffered.

When DE KLERK became the president of South Africa things began to change. As he was a humanist & full of Liberal ideas. In 1990 De KLERK released Nelson Mandela and his colleagues and the ban on ANC was also lifted. Nelson Mandela and his colleagues were imprisoned in Robden Island. De KLERK and Mandela worked together to frame a new constitution. And accordingly elections were held in May 1994. The ANC took part in the elections. And obtained a land slide victory. The ANC formed the government and Nelson Mandela was sworn in as the first Black President of South Africa. On this day Nelson Mandela made a historic statement – “ Never, Never, Never again will this beauty land of South Africa be subjected to appression and exploitation,…… God bless Africa”. The South African National Anthem was Sung – NIKOSE SIKELELA AFRICA, means I LOVE AFRICA. Thus South Africa became Independent.

Nelson Mandela thus played a predominant role, in leading South Africa to independence. His book LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, written while in prison throws light on the freedom struggle of South Africa.






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