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Nelson Mandela And The Struggle Against Apartheid In South Africa (Essay Sample)


mandela and the struggle to liberate south- africa from British rule

Nelson Mandela is one of the world's most recognizable fighters against inequality and oppression who acted as a central figure in the struggle against South Africa's brutal and restrictive racial regime called apartheid. Mandela made personal sacrifices, coupled with his determined struggle for racial equality that has made him act as an inspirational figure to people around the world especially to proponents of racial justice and equality. He was arrested and spent 27 years in prison for his active opposition to South Africa's racist apartheid regime. In 1994, shortly after the fall of apartheid, Mandela was elected President of South Africa in a multiracial, democratic election, making him the country's first black president. Moreover, apart from him being an icon of icon of resistance and perseverance, he was also a symbol of peace, having presided over the transition from apartheid to multiracial democracy and having pursued a plan of national reconciliation, which made him win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
In 1948, after the election of the Afrikaner-led National Party the system of apartheid was formally put in place. Under these new developments, South African population was divided into four distinct racial groups: white, black, colored, and Indian. Strict residential and socio-economic segregation was enforced based on these racial categories. Where, Non-whites were not allowed to vote in national election. Moreover, apartheid saw the institution of the "homeland system," in which the government sought to establish separate states for members of each of the country's many black ethnic groups. This often involved the forced removal of families from their original homes to the newly created. In other cases, it meant breaking up interracial and inter-ethnic families. While non-whites were confined to squalid ghettoes with few decent educational and employment opportunities, whites were afforded the basic privileges of life in a democracy.
The apartheid gave rise to a resistance movement as a result of how different racial groups were treated. In 1943, Nelson Mandela who was then a law student joined African National Congress (ANC), which was founded in 1913 in response against the oppression of the non-white South Africans. Mandela co-founded a youth division (ANCYL) and started advocating for a mass campaign of agitation against apartheid. In 1949, the ANCYL gained control of the ANC and a year later Mandela was elected national president of the ANCYL.New leadership of the ANC worked on a strategy of nonviolent direct action and started a campaign which was known as “Defiance Campaign” which advocated for all people irrespective of color who had made South Africa their home to live a full and free life.
During their nonviolent resistance, many protesters were rounded up and arrested as the government moved to outlaw any opposition. Mandela and several colleagues were arrested in the 1950s, but they were ultimately acquitted at the end of a long treason trial in 1961. In an attempt to squash resistance, the South African government also resorted to violent repression. The bloodiest incident was in 1960, when police opened fire on a group of 7000 protesters in the town of Sharpeville, killing 69 of them. Mandela and other ANC leaders decided that the movement should have an armed wing, similar to other revolutionary movements against
Colonialism in Africa at the time in response to the killings and then resorted to travelling internationally with an aim of raising money for an armed fight against the government. Later on armed wing of ANC carried out act of sabotage with an objective of destroying government property but this did not go well for Mandela as in two trials set for 1962 and 1963, he was found guilty of inciting workers' strikes and sabotage and conspiracy to violently overthrow the government. He was then sentenced to life in prison and spent the next 27 years of his life behind bars, often under brutal conditions. However, Mandela did not directly participate in the movement while in prison, he still became a symbol in the struggle against injustice in South Africa and internationally.
The fight against the government did not stop during his imprisonment, but instead it advanced it cause through new organization of leadership. A powerful international movement included boycotts and bans of South African goods; protests, including massive civil disobedience; and the freeing of Nelson Mandela and other ...
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