Sunday, December 19, 2004

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, OM (born 18 July 1918) is a former President of South Africa, was one of its chief anti-apartheid activists, and was also an anti-apartheid saboteur and guerrilla leader. He is now almost universally considered to be a heroic freedom fighter, but during the time of the apartheid regime some Western politicians such as Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan considered him little more than a terrorist. He spent his childhood in the Thembu chiefdom before embarking on a career in law.
The name Madiba is an honourary title adopted by older male members of the Mandela clan, however in South Africa the title is synonymous with Nelson Mandela.He was born in Qunu in the Transkei. His father was Hendry Mphakanyiswa Gadla, chief of Mvezo, a tiny village on the banks of the Mbashe River. At the age of seven, Rolihlahla Mandela became the first member of his family to attend school, where he was given the English name "Nelson" by a Methodist teacher. His father died when he was 10, and Nelson attended a Wesleyan mission school next door to the palace of the Regent. Following Xhosa custom he was initiated at age 16, and attended Clarkebury Boarding Institute, learning about Western culture. He completed his Junior Certificate in two years, instead of the usual three.
At age 19, in 1934, Mandela moved to the Wesleyan College in Fort Beaufort, which most Thembu royalty attended, and took an interest in boxing and running. After matriculating, he began a B.A. at the Fort Hare University, where he met Oliver Tambo, who became a lifelong friend and colleague.
At the end of his first year he became involved in a boycott of the Students' Representative Council against the university policies, and was asked to leave Fort Hare. He left to go to Johannesburg, where he completed his degree with the University of South Africa (UNISA) via correspondence, then began a Law degree at Wits University.


Apartheid (ap-ar-taed) is an Afrikaans word meaning "separation" or literally "aparthood" (or "apartness"). It was the name of the policy and the system of laws implemented and enforced by "White" minority governments in South Africa from 1948 till 1990. To some the term has come to be used to refer to any legally sanctioned system of racial segregation. The first recorded use of the word is in 1917, during a speech by Jan Smuts, who became Prime Minister of South Africa in 1919.
In some ways Apartheid was an extension of the segregationist laws implemented by previous white minority governments. Examples include the 1913 Land Act and the various workplace "colour bars". However, by the end of the Second World War, the enforcement of these laws had been lessened by the United Party government of Jan Smuts. This culminated in the 1948 report of the Fagan Commission, which was set up by the government to investigate changes to the system. The report recommended that segregation in the cities be ended, thus also ending the migrant labour system whereby the permanent home of Black South Africans was in distant rural "reserves". Prime Minister Smuts was in favour of the findings of the Commission, stating that: "The idea that natives must all be removed and confined in their kraals is in my opinion, the greatest nonsense I have ever heard."
In response to the Fagan Commission, the National Party convened its own commission known as the Sauer Commission. The findings of this commission were almost the exact opposite of those of the Fagan Commission, as it recommended that not only should segregation continue, but it should be made even stricter, and implemented in all spheres of social and economic life. It recommended the concept of "Apartheid", in which the races were to be completely separated as much as possible. san fransisco shuttletours florida discounted dental care Architectural Outdoor Lighting florida discounted dental care