The Official Website For The Nelson Mandela 90th Birthday Coin































































To condense all of Mr Nelson Mandela's  achievements into one chronology would be impossible; as a result, we do not claim that our work here is comprehensive. Below you will find both a brief chronology of important events in his life, and a more detailed version. Both are works in progress and we are happy to receive your comments or additions to them.

Year Date Event
1918 July 18 Born at Mvezo in the Transkei.
1925   Attends primary school near Qunu (teacher can’t pronounce Rolihlahla so names him ‘Nelson’).
1927   Entrusted to Paramount Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo.
1934   Undergoes initiation; Goes to Clarkebury Boarding Institute in Engcobo.
1937   Goes to Healdtown, the Wesleyan College at Fort Beaufort.
1939   Enrolls at the University College of Fort Hare, in Alice.
1940   Expelled.
1941   Escapes an arranged marriage, becomes a mine night watchman in Johannesburg; lives in Alexandra. Starts articles at the law firm Witkin, Sidelsky & Eidelman.
1942   Completes BA through UNISA.
1943   Enrolls for an LLB at Wits University; joins ANC.
1944   Co-founds the ANC Youth League (ANCYL); marries Evelyn Ntoko Mase – they have four children: Thembekile (1946); Makaziwe (1947 – who dies after nine months); Makgatho (1951) and Makaziwe (1954).
1948   Elected national secretary of the ANCYL.
1951   Elected President of the ANCYL.
1952   Defiance Campaign begins. Mr Mandela is arrested; elected Transvaal ANC President; arrested for violating the Suppression of Communism Act; opens own law office; convicted with JS Moroka, Walter Sisulu and 17 others under the Suppression of Communism Act; sentenced to nine months imprisonment with hard labour, suspended for two years; elected first of ANC deputy presidents; opens South Africa’s first black law firm with Oliver Tambo.
1953   Devises the M-Plan for the ANC’s future underground operations.
1955   Watches as the Congress of the People at Kliptown launches the Freedom Charter.
1956   Arrested and joins 155 others on trial for treason. All are acquitted.
1958   Divorces Evelyn Mase; marries Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela – they have two daughters: Zenani (1959) and Zindziswa (1960).
1960 March 30 The ANC is banned, a State of Emergency imposed and Mr Mandela detained.
1961   Goes underground; Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) formed.
1962   Leaves the country for military training.
  August 05 Arrested near Howick; sentenced to five years for incitement and leaving the country illegally.
1963 May Sent to Robben Island; tried in Pretoria, for sabotage with nine other MK members.
1964 June All except Rusty Bernstein and James Kantor are convicted and sentenced to life.
1969   Thembekile is killed in a car accident.
1982   Mr Mandela, Sisulu, Raymond Mhlaba and Andrew Mlangeni and later Ahmed Kathrada are sent to Pollsmoor Prison.
  January 31 Rejects PW Botha offer to release him if he renounces violence; prostate surgery.
1988 August Contracts TB and is admitted to Tygerberg Hospital for six weeks.
  December Admitted to Constantiaberg MediClinic.
  December 09 Moved to Victor Verster Prison.
1990 February 11 Released.
  March 02 Elected ANC Deputy President.
1993   Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with FW de Klerk.
1994 April 27 Votes for the first time in his life.
  May 09 Elected as first president of a democratic South Africa.
  May 10 Inaugurated as President.
1996   Divorces Winnie Mandela.
1998 July 18 Marries Graça Machel on his 80th birthday.
1999   Steps down after one term as president.
2001   Diagnosed with prostate cancer.
2002   Launches global HIV/AIDS campaign 46664.
2003   Establishment of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.
2004 June 02 Announces that he will be stepping down from public life.
2005 January 06 Makgatho dies. Mr Mandela announces that he died of AIDS complications.
  July Launches a comic series on his life and quips: “You know you are famous the day you discover you have become a comic character.”
2006   Centre of Memory and Dialogue approved as the core work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
2007   Eldest grandson Mandlesizwe Mandela invested as Nkosi Zwelivelile of Mvezo; inauguration of the Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development.
2008   Turns 90 years old, asks the emerging generation to continue the fight for social justice.


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History of Nelson

1994 Inauguration Speech

The Early Days


Madiba’s Many Names

Mandela’s early days in Johannesburg

Passports tell a story

Madiba’s first day of freedom 19 years on

Nelson Mandela addresses ANC rally to celebrate his 90th birthday






















































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