Learners' timeline

18 July 1918: Is born

1930: His father dies and he is taken to be raised by the Acting King of the Thembu people

1934: Undergoes initiation; enrols at Clarkebury Boarding Institute at Engcobo

1937: Enrols at Healdtown, the Wesleyan College at Fort Beaufort

1939: Enrols at the University of Fort Hare in Alice

1940: Is expelled from the University of Fort Hare

1941: Runs away to Johannesburg

1942: Completes his BA through Unisa

1943: Enrols for an LLB at Wits University

1944: Co-founds the ANC Youth League; marries Evelyn Mase

1948: Is elected National Secretary of the ANC Youth League

1951: Is elected President of the ANC Youth League

1952: Is Volunteer-in-Chief of the Defiance Campaign; is sentenced to nine months in prison suspended for two years with 19 others for their role in the campaign; is banned for the first time; is asked to leave Wits over unpaid debt; starts South Africa’s first black law firm, Mandela & Tambo

1955: Watches in secret as the Freedom Charter is adopted in Kliptown

1956: Is arrested and charged with high treason with 155 others

1958: Divorces Evelyn Mase and marries Winnie Madikizela

1960: ANC and PAC are banned after the Sharpeville Massacre

1961: Is acquitted in Treason Trial; goes underground; calls on Verwoerd to set up talks on a non-racial future for South Africa; calls for a three-day strike in May over South Africa becoming a republic; is selected as Commander-in-Chief of Umkhonto weSizwe

1962: Secretly leaves the country for military training and to get support for the armed struggle; arrested on 5 August; sentenced to five years in prison for leaving the country without a passport and encouraging the strike

1963: Joins 10 others on trial for sabotage in the Rivonia Trial

1964: Sentenced with seven others to life imprisonment

1986: Starts meeting with the government to persuade them to talk to the ANC

1988: Is treated for TB in hospital for three months

1989: Graduates with an LLB from Unisa

1990: Released from Victor Verster Prison; leads ANC delegation in talks with the government

1993: Is jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with FW de Klerk for their efforts to end apartheid

1994: Votes in South Africa’s first democratic election; is inaugurated as President; his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, is published

1995: Starts the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and donates to it a third of his presidential salary

1999: Steps down after only one term as president; starts the Nelson Mandela Foundation

2003: Starts the 46664 campaign to highlight HIV and AIDS; starts the Mandela Rhodes Foundation to build leadership in Africa

2004: Finally retires, saying, "Don’t call me, I’ll call you."

2008: Says to the youth, "It’s in your hands to create a better world", prompting the formation of Mandela Day

2009: Nelson Mandela International Day is proclaimed by the United Nations

2010: Publishes his book, Conversations with Myself

2011: Publishes his book, Nelson Mandela By Himself: The Authorised Book of Quotations

2013: Passes away peacefully at his home in Johannesburg aged 95

 

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela