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Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 5 months ago


Welcome to Yolanda's Page!!!



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Nelson Mandela




"I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against 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."

The Early Years:

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in a mud hut in a village near Umtata in Transkei South Africa on July 18, 1918. His father was the Tribal Chief of Thembuland and after his father 's death, the young Rolihlahla became the Paramount Chief's ward to be groomed to assume high office. However, influenced by the cases that came before the Chief's court, he was determined to become a lawyer. After hearing the elders' stories of his ancestor's valor during the wars of resistance in defense of their fatherland, he dreamed also of making his own contribution to the freedom struggle of his people.

 After receiving a primary education at a local mission school, Nelson Mandela was sent to Healdtown, a reputable Wesleyan secondary school where he matriculated. After leaving school he then enrolled at an all black college, the University College of Fort Hare for a Bachelor of Arts Degree where he soon displayed his leadership qualities. After being elected to the Student's Representative Council, Mandela started to live up to his Xhosa name Rolihlahla, meaning "stirring up trouble", and joined a student boycott which resulted in his suspension from the college.


The Birth of a Freedom Fighter:

 After suspension from college, Mandela went to Johannesburg where he completed his BA by correspondence, took articles of clerkship and commenced study for his LLB. While studying in Johannesburg he entered politics in earnest by joining the African National Congress in 1942. At the height of World War II a small group of young Africans, members of the African National Congress, banded together under the leadership of Anton Lembede. Among them was William Nkomo, Walter Sisulu, Oliver R. Tambo, Ashby P. Mda and Nelson Mandela. These young people set themselves the formidable task of transforming the ANC into a mass movement, deriving its strength and motivation from the unlettered millions of working people in the towns and countryside, the peasants in the rural areas and the professionals.  Their chief contention was that the political tactics of the 'old guard' leadership of the ANC, reared in the tradition of constitutionals and polite petitioning of the government of the day, were proving inadequate for the tasks of national emancipation. In opposition to the 'old guard', Lembede and his colleagues espoused a radical African Nationalism grounded in the principle of national self-determination. In September 1944 they came together to found the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL).

 Mandela soon impressed his peers by his disciplined work and consistent effort; he soon rose through the ranks of the organization and was elected to the Secretaryship of theYouth League in 1947. By painstaking work, campaigning at the grassroots and through its mouthpiece Inyaniso' (Truth) the ANCYL was able to canvass support for its policies amongst ANC membership. Spurred on by the victory of the National Party which won the 1948 all-White elections on the platform of Apartheid, at the 1949 annual conference, the Program of Action, inspired by the Youth League, which advocated the weapons of boycott, strike, civil disobedience and non-co-operation was accepted as official ANC policy.

 A sub-committee of the ANCYL, which comprised of David Bopape, Ashby Mda, Nelson Mandela, James Njongwe, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo, had drawn up the Program of Action. To ensure its implementation the membership replaced older leaders with a number of younger men. Walter Sisulu, a founding member of the Youth League was elected Secretary-General. The conservative Dr A.B. Xuma lost the presidency to Dr J.S. Moroka, a man with a reputation for greater militancy. The following year, 1950, at the national conference Mandela was elected to the NEC.

 The ANCYL program was aimed at the attainment of full citizenship and direct parliamentary representation for all South Africans. In the policy documents of which Mandela was an important co-author, the ANCYL paid special attention to the redistribution of the land, trade union rights, education and culture. The ANCYL also wanted free and compulsory education for all children, as well as mass education for adults. When the ANC launched its Campaign for the Defiance of Unjust Laws in 1952, Mandela was elected the national Volunteer-in-Chief. The Defiance Campaign was conceived as a mass civil disobedience campaign that would snowball from a core of selected volunteers to involve more and more ordinary people, culminating in mass defiance. Fulfilling his responsibility as Volunteer-in-Chief, Mandela traveled the country organizing resistance to discriminatory legislation. Mandela was later charged and brought to trial for his role in the campaign. But the court found that Mandela and his co-accused had consistently advised their followers to adopt a peaceful course of action and to avoid all violence. But for his part in the Defiance Campaign, Mandela was convicted of contravening the Suppression of communism Act and was given a suspended prison sentence. Shortly after the campaign ended, he was also prohibited from attending gatherings and confined to Johannesburg for six months. Mandela continued his campaign and was promoted to become president of the ANC's Transval organization. However the government again acted to stop him. He was arrested along with 155 other ANC members in 1956 and charged with treason and promoting communism. The trial was to last 5 years. The ANC was in the dock and the government was determined to prove that it was a communist and revolutionary organization. It was during this trial, which Mandela dominated with his skill as a speaker and breadth of vision that he emerged as the ANC's most valued leader. He was eventually acquitted, but he knew his freedom was short-lived.


Professional Life:

 In 1952 during the period when Mandela was restricted, he wrote the attorneys admission examination and was admitted to the profession. He opened a practice in Johannesburg, in partnership with his friend Oliver Tambo; it was the country's first black law partnership. Of their law practice, Oliver Tambo, ANC National Chairman at the time of his death in April 1993, has written:

To reach our desks each morning Nelson and I ran the gauntlet of patient queues of people overflowing from the chairs in the waiting room into the corridors... To be landless (in South Africa) can be a crime, and weekly we interviewed the delegations of peasants who came to tell us how many generations their families had worked a little piece of land from which they were now being ejected... To live in the wrong area can be a crime... Our buff office files carried thousands of these stories and if, when we started our law partnership, we had not been rebels against apartheid, our experiences in our offices would have remedied the deficiency. We had risen to professional status in our community, but every case in court, every visit to the prisons to interview clients, reminded us of the humiliation and suffering burning into our people.

 However their professional status did not earn Mandela and Tambo any personal immunity from the brutal apartheid laws. They fell foul to the land segregation legislation, and the authorities demanded that they move their practice from the city to the back of beyond, as Mandela later put it, miles away from where clients could reach us during working hours. This was tantamount to asking us to abandon our legal practice, to give up the legal service of our people... No attorney worth his salt would easily agree to do that said Mandela and the partnership resolved to defy the law. Also the government was not alone in trying to frustrate Mandela' s legal practice. On the grounds of his conviction under the Suppression of Communism Act, the Transvaal Law Society petitioned the Supreme Court to strike him off the roll of attorneys. The petition was refused with Mr. Justice Ramsbottom finding that Mandela had been moved by a desire to serve his black fellow citizens and nothing he had done showed him to be unworthy to remain in the ranks of an honorable profession.


To go 2 my new survery's just go under the APWH Page or Econmics Page 2 go take them!!                                            


The human heart feels things the eyes cannot see, and knows what the mind cannot understand. - Robert Vallett


I wrote your name on a paper but by an accident I threw it away

I wrote your name on m hand but i washed it the next day

I wrote your name in the sand but the waves washed it away

I wrote your name in my heart and forever it will stay





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