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Nelson Mandela has played an important and controversial role in the history of South Africa and establishing South Africa as a Democratic country Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Umtata in the Transkei territory of South Africa His father was a tribal chief Mandela became a lawyer and in 1944 joined the African National CongressANC Mandela gain national importance as a black leader for protest against the government and apartheid which occurred in the 1950s In 1956 Mandela was arrested and charged with treason and other serious crimes but was found not guilty in 1961 He began to protest again against apartheid and the government He went into hiding and was arrested in 1962 and was convicted of sabotage and conspiracy and sentenced to life imprisonment on July 1964 Even in prison Mandela was able continue his struggle for a nonracial united and democratic South Africa based on one-person one-vote on a common voters roll While in prison he wrote many writings and speeches which have been collected and published He received many international prizes as well as a number of honorary doctorates from universities On February 11 1990 Nelson Mandela was free from prison on Robbed Island by Frederick W de Klerk De Klerk freed Mandela because he know that and to abolish apartheid was the only why to protect South Africa from destruction This destruction would have been caused by rent strikes hunger strikes and boycotts which were some of the Africans used The MDM Mass Democratic Movement was the combined black groups opposed to apartheid and the white government which included the ANC which Mandela was president of The MDM called a two day general strike in which 3 million South Africans took part on the day elections were held South Africa
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