Nelson Mandela and His Life Sentence

It was on June 12, 1964 that Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison in South Africa. According to nelsonmandela.org, “Nelson Mandela and seven of his comrades were jailed for life for what became known as the Rivonia Trial”. If you are wondering what the Rivonia Trial is, according to sahistory.org.za, “leading opponents of apartheid went on trial for their lives on charges of sabotage”. It was during this trial that Mandela made a speech, which included these famous words found on nelsonmandela.org, “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought again white domination, and I have fought again black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”.
Mandela did end up serving a number of years in prison, almost 30 to be exact, being released in 1990. Four years after his release from prison, he was elected the first black president of South Africa. He served until 1999 when he retired from politics, and was then called on to help mediate a peace agreement in Burundi, in central Africa. Mandela continued to be a positive role model until he passed away in 2013. According to CNN.com Barack Obama said the following words after Mandela’s death, “We’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth. He no longer belongs to us—he belongs to the ages”.

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