18 July 1918Mandela was born. During 1939, he enrolled at Fort Hare (studying English, Anthropology, Politics). In 1941, he met Walter Sisulu in Johannesburg. He passed his end of year exams for his BA at UNISA in 1942.  In 1944 , he joined the ANC and co-founded the ANCYL. He married his first wife, Evelyn Ntoko Mase.


1950 He was elected the ANCYL president
1952 He opened his own law firm (at Chancellor House in Jhb)
1956 He was arrested for High Treason
1958 He married Winnie on 14 June a year after he divorced his first wife
1961 On 21 March eh was found not guilty of High Treason
1962 He was arrested in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal – and sentenced to three years
1964 ON 12 June he was sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island.
1982 On 31 March he was moved to Pollsmoor prison
1985 On 31 January, the then National Party President, PW Botha, offered him conditionalRelease which he refused.
1988 He was diagnosed with TB and was hospitalized at Constantiaberg Medi-clinicFour months later, on 24 December, he was moved to Victor Verster
1989 P.W. Botha met with Mandela at Tuynhys, Cape Town. Mandela asked him torelease all political prisoners.

10 October, he told Sisulu, Kathrada and Mlangeni of their imminent release.

1990 On 2 February, NP president, FW de Klerk announced theunconditional release of Mandela

On 11 February, Mandela was released from prison

On 2 March the ANC NEC (National Executive Committee) named

Mandela ANC deputy president

On 5 April, Mandela met with De Klerk to discuss ANC government negotiations

From June to July, Mandela undertook a six week visit to countries in

Europe, North America and Africa

On 26 June, he addressed a U.S. Congress in the speech: Peace will not come to our country until apartheid is ended

ON 14 December he delivered the keynote address to the

ANC Consultative Conference:

The oppressed and exploited must lead South Africa out of Apartheid

1991 He met with IFP’s Mangosuthu Buthelezi and agreed to measures to endviolence in KwaZulu Natal

On 22 February, he emphasized tolerance in a speech to the Johannesburg Press Club: Building a political culture that entrenches political tolerance

From 2-6 July the ANC held its first annual conference inside SA in 30 years

. Mandela was elected president of the ANC at this 48th National Conference

in Durban

On 20 December, he addressed the opening session of the Convention for

a Democratic SA (CODESA): Codesa is the fruit of sacrifice and struggle

1992 On 17 March a Whites-only referendum was passed and its main question was:‘Do you support the continuation of the reform process which the state president [de Klerk] began on 2 February 1990 which is aimed at a new constitution through negotiation?’ 

A two-thirds majority endorsed continued government negotiations on

the country’s future

On 13 April, Mandela announced his separation from Winnie, his second wife

On 9 July Mandela wrote a letter to FW De Klerk:

For a democratically elected and sovereign constituent assembly and on 15 July

addressed the United Nations Security Council with the theme:

A cold-blooded strategy of state terrorism

On 26 September a memorandum of understanding was signed between

Mandela and de Klerk, breaking the deadlock in negotiations.

This caused the IFP to withdraw from negotiations

1993 In February, in an interview with Mayibuye, Mandela noted: 1993 can be a year ofdecisive achievements

On 13 April, Mandela’s address to the nation following the assassination of SACP

leader, Chris Hani on 10 April, probably averted serous and protracted internal strife

At Hani’s funeral on 19 April, Mandela said: Apartheid must not be reformed;

it must be uprooted in its entirety

On 5 May and in a British parliamentary address (following the death of Oliver Tambo from a stroke) Mandela said: We must act together to give birth to a new South Africa

He addressed people on the 17th commemoration of the 1976 Student Uprising in Soweto

The Nobel Peace Prize 1993 was awarded jointly to Nelson Mandela and

FW de Klerk “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime,

and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa”


Apartheid must not be reformed; it must be uprooted in its entirety

1994 On 2 May Mandela delivered his first Election Victory Speech in JohannesburgOn 10 May he was sworn in as South Africa’s first democratic president
1995 On 14 February, he officially inaugurated the Constitutional CourtIn March, Mandela received a visit from Queen Elizabeth II after SA was

recognised in the Commonwealth

On 18 March he accepted the National Peace Award in Durban

On 8 May he launched the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund
On 9 June he delivered the first Bram Fischer Memorial Lecture at the Johannesburg Market Theatre

On 24 June he was publicly presented with a rugby jersey by the SA captain.

SA won the Rugby Union World Cup

1996 Mandela opened the 1996 African Cup of Nations Tournament in JohannesburgOn 8 May, he addressed the Constitutional Assembly, adopting the new

Constitution, and then unveiled the Mural celebrating the new constitution

On 9-12 July he visited the UK and received the freedom of the City of London…

he also received honorary degrees from eight leading universities there, including

Oxford and Cambridge. This was done during a ceremony held at

Buckingham Palace, where Queen Elizabeth II received Mandela

On 23 September, he unveiled the Monument of Enoch Sontonga on Heritage Day

On 25 October, having received an Honorary doctorate from Stellenbosch,

he expressed his appreciation and confidence that the gesture was a sign true sign

of reconciliation

On 10 December Mandela signed the new Constitution into law at Sharpeville,

noting that he was honoured and humbled to be able to do so

1997 In March, Princess Diana visited Mandela in Cape TownHis visit to the UK included being received by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham palace. He also met Tony Blair and Prince Charles
1998 On 18 July, he married his third wife, Graca Machel
1999 On 5 February Mandela delivered his last State of the Nation addressIn June, Mandela stepped down as president, making way for his successor,

Thabo Mbeki

In July, Sarah Ferguson, Prince Andrew’s ex visited Mandela at his Houghton home

On 18 July, the late Michael Jackson visited Mandela on his birthday.

He had brought with him a personalized birthday cake and spent the day with

Mandela, Graca, their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren

In August, he launched the Nelson Mandela Foundation

In November he accepted a mediation role in war-torn Burundi

In December he visited the United States to brief the then president Bill Clinton on

his efforts in the Middle East conflict

2000 In May he lashed out against leaders who profited at the cost of their countries’children

He issued a statement on building a global partnership for children

In July he pushed the Burundi peace initiative so vigorously that diplomats warned

him key players were left out of the process

In August he successfully placed pressure on Liberian leader Charles Taylor to

release captured journalists

In September he attended the Olympics in Sydney, Australia and received three

honorary doctorates from Australian Universities during his 10-day visit

In October, he was awarded the African of the Century award

In December, at the closing ceremony of the International Aids Conference in

Durban, Mandela reminded society that A tragedy of unprecedented proportions is

unfolding in Africa

2001 In February he launched the Arusha Agreement in Tanzania in a bid to end civilstrife, but this only escalated within two weeks of the Arusha Agreement, and the

UN Security Council expressed its concern

Also in February, via video link, Mandela told an international conference on child

poverty that children must be moved to the centre of the world agenda, adding

30 000 children die needlessly every day worldwide

In July he criticised the denial and secrecy surrounding AIDS

In August he received the first Shaka award for courage from King Goodwill Zwelithini

In November he became the first living person to be made honorary citizen of

Canada. He asked the then prime minister of Canada, Jean-Pierre Chrétien, to help

fund peace in the Congo

2002 In February he cautioned the government not to limit freedom of the pressIn June, he publicly mourned the death of discredited SA cricket hero Hansie Cronje

In August Mandela became the real ‘hot property’ at the WSSD (World Summit on

Sustainable Development), creating concern that he would upstage any event

attended by President Mbeki, so he made himself inaccessible

In October he received the International Peace Prize he was awarded by the old

USSR in 1990

In December, he welcomed US talk show host Oprah Winfrey

2003 In February Mandela called then UK prime minister Tony Blair “the foreign ministerof the US”, thus embarrassing him

In May, he met British soccer star David Beckham

He was voted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame as the greatest champion of

all time

In June, he and Muhammad Ali were guests of honour at the Opening of the

Special Olympics

In September  he and Her Majesty Queen Noor, became Patrons of the Vth IUCN World Parks

In October Mandela launched a worldwide music-led campaign, 46664, in London to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in Africa

In November he attended the first 46664 conference to raise funds for AIDS victims, with Bono, The Edge and Dave Stewart starring at the concert

2004 In February he met South African Oscar award-winning actress, Charlize TheronIn April Mandela lobbied for the support of the Caribbean islands in an effort

to secure the 2010 Soccer World Cup

Also in April he, on an ANC campaign trail, proved to be a major drawing card,

and attracted thousands of people to mass rallies ahead of the General election

on 14 April 2004

In June he announced his retirement from public life for the second time, stating

that he was retiring from his punishing retirement schedule

2005 On 12 July Mandela greed to become a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in recognition for showing unfailing commitment to democracy, equality and learning, as well asadding an exemplary contribution to international peace and understanding

On 4 October Mandela topped an international BBC poll to find the 11 leaders the

people of the world would like to run a fantasy global government

2006 Mandela agreed to become patron of the African Forum at a function inMozambique, where fourteen other former heads of government met with the

intent to contribute to conflict resolution. Due to this commitment, Mandela was

unable to meet the president-elect of Bolivia, Evo Morales

On 1 November Amnesty International bestowed its most prestigious honour –

the Ambassador of Conscience Award 2006 – on Mandela. The award recognised

exceptional individual leadership in the fight to protect and promote universal

human rights.

2007 On 2 January the Oprah leadership academy for girls from poor backgroundsopened and Mandela delivered an address, congratulating talk show host Oprah

Winfrey on being a benefactor to the disadvantaged around the world. It was

Mandela who had requested Oprah to support efforts in education in South Africa

On 18 July He launched the humanitarian club of “Global Elders”. These include the

likes of Jimmy Carter, Mary Robinson and Kofi Annan

On 29 August a statue of Mandela was unveiled in Parliament Square following a

seven year campaign led by Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London

2008 On 2 July the White House said the then President George W Bush removedMandela and other ANC members from the US terror watch list

On 5 November, he congratulated American President Barack Obama on his


2009 On 15 February, 90 year Mandela made an appearance at and Eastern Capeelectioneering rally. This sparked concerns about his health

On 9 May, the frail elderly statesman was transported in golf cart and then helped

onto the stage at Pretoria’s Union Buildings as he went to witness President

Jacob Zuma’s inauguration. Thousands of supporters cheered for him

In June the  46664 campaign spearheaded the launch of Mandela Day on behalf of

all the Nelson Mandela organisations – the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, the Mandela Rhodes Foundation – and called on people around the world to support the creation of an official

Mandela Day, to be held annually on July 18, Mandela’s birthday.

On 7 July the honorable Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the

Republic of Bulgaria to South Africa, Volodya Neykov conferred the

Highest State Award  – Order of the Starra Planini – of the Republic of Bulgaria on behalf of His Excellency, Mr. Georgi Parvanov, the President of the Republic of Bulgaria on Mr. Mandela.

2010 On 11 July Mandela and his wife Graca Machel appeared briefly atSoccer City stadium for the closing ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup on 11 July 2010. They missed the opening due to the death of Mandela’s great-grandchild

On 15 September he received the Mexican government’s highest award for

foreigners, the Order of the Mexican Eagle. Graca Machel gave the assurance

that “he is fine, he is healthy, but as he himself says, he is old” when

she accepted the award on his behalf in Pretoria

On 13 October, at gathering in Bamako, Mali, the African Editors’ Forum honoured

Mandela (and leaders who had created media-friendly societies during their term

in office) for his commitment to press freedom during his term in office with an

award. The award was accepted by Nelson Mandela Foundation Trustee Professor

Njabulo Ndebele on behalf of Mandela

Notes Following his release and during his presidency, Mandela visited many countriesin the world, thanking them for their support at the height of apartheid.

He was involved in mediation efforts both in Africa and abroad

(e.g. Middle East and Burundi, to mention but a few).

He not only emphasized on reconciliation, but also promoted peaceful resolutions

to conflict. He also brought attention to issues of HIV/AIDS, poverty and

the importance of aid in Africa. Mandela received numerous honorary doctorates

and awards in recognition of his efforts

Mandela as a leader had achieved what many people believed to be an impossible

task – a united South Africa. As a traditionalist, struggle leader, democrat,

and respected world statesman, it was difficult to equal someone as committed

to causes and people as Mandela. More than anything, as a reconciliatory

statesman, he earned more accolades than any South African current political figure.