Nelson Mandela Timeline

By: Nathaniel Asbell

1918July 18 Born Rolihlahla Mandela at Mvezo in the Transkei

1925 Attends primary school near Qunu (receives the name ‘Nelson’ from a teacher)

Circa 1930 Entrusted to Thembu Regent Jongintaba Dalindyebo

1934 Undergoes initiation; Attends Clarkebury Boarding Institute in Engcobo

1937 Attends 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; Starts articles at the law firm Witkin, Sidelsky & Eidelman

1942 Completes BA through the University of South Africa (UNISA)

1942 Begins to attend African National Congress (ANC) meetings informally

1943 Graduates with BA from Fort Hare; Enrols for an LLB at Wits University

1944 Co-founds the ANC Youth League (ANCYL); marries Evelyn Ntoko Mase – they have four children: Thembekile (1945); Makaziwe (1947 – who dies after nine months); Makgatho (1950); Makaziwe (1954)

1948 Elected national secretary of the ANCYL

1951 Elected President of the ANCYL

1952 Defiance Campaign begins; Arrested and charged for violating the Suppression of Communism Act; Elected Transvaal ANC President; Convicted with J.S 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 by 29 March 1961

1958 Divorces Evelyn Mase; Marries Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela – they have two daughters: Zenani (1959) and Zindzi (1960)

1960 March 21 Sharpeville Massacre

March 30 A State of Emergency imposed and he is among thousands detained

April 8 The ANC is banned

1961 Goes underground; Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) is formed

1962 January 11 Leaves the country for military training and to garner support for the ANC

July 23 Returns to South Africa

August 5 Arrested near Howick in KwaZulu-Natal

November 7 Sentenced to five years in prison for incitement and leaving the country without a passport

1963 May 27 Sent to Robben Island

June 12 Returned to Pretoria Local Prison October 9

Appears in court for the first time in what becomes known as the Rivonia Trial, with Walter Sisulu, Denis Goldberg, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada, Lionel 'Rusty' Bernstein, Raymond Mhlaba, James Kantor, Elias Motsoaledi and Andrew Mlangeni

December 3 Pleads not guilty to sabotage in what becomes known as the Rivonia Trial

1964 June 11 All except Rusty Bernstein and James Kantor are convicted and sentenced (June 12) to life

June 13 Arrives on Robben Island

1969 July 13 Thembekile is killed in a car accident

1982 March 31 Mr Mandela, Sisulu, Raymond Mhlaba and Andrew Mlangeni and later Ahmed Kathrada are sent to Pollsmoor Prison

1985 February 10 Rejects, through his daughter, Zindzi, South African President PW Botha's offer to release him if he renounces violence

1985 November 3 Admitted to the Volks Hospital for prostate surgery

November 23 Discharged from Volks Hospital and returned to Pollsmoor Prison

1988 August 12 Admitted to Tygerberg Hospital where he is diagnosed with Tuberculosi

August 31 Admitted to Constantiaberg MediClinic

December 7 Moved to Victor Verster Prison in Paarl where he was held for 14 months in a cottage

1990 February 2 ANC is unbanned

1990 February 11 Released

March 2 Elected ANC Deputy President

1993 December 10 Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with FW de Klerk

1994 April 27 Votes for the first time in his life

May 9 Elected by Parliament as first president of a democratic South Africa

May 10 Inaugurated as President of the Republic of South Africa

December 14 Launches his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom1995

Establishes the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund

1996 Divorces Winnie Mandela

1998 July 18 Marries Graça Machel on his 80th birthday

1999 Steps down after one term as President, establishes the Nelson Mandela Foundation

2001 Diagnosed with prostate cancer

2003 Establishes the Mandela Rhodes Foundation

2004 June 1 Announces that he will be stepping down from public life

2005 January 6 Announces that his eldest son Makgatho had died of AIDS

2007 April 13 Attends the installation of his grandson Mandla as chief of the Mvezo Traditional Council

2008 July 18 Turns 90 years old, asks future generations to continue the fight for social justice

2009 Votes for the fourth time in his life; Attends the inauguration of President Jacob Zuma on May 9 and witnesses Zuma's first State of the Nation address; Turns 91

2010 Is formally presented with the Fifa World Cup trophy before it embarks on a tour of South Africa

2010 June 11 His great-granddaughter Zenani is killed in a car accident

2010 June 17 Attends the funeral of his great-granddaughter Zenani

2010 July 11 Makes a surprise appearance at the Final of the Fifa World Cup in Soweto

2010 July Celebrates his 92nd birthday at home in Johannesburg with family and friends

2010 October 12 His second book Conversations with Myself is published

2010 November 18 Meets the South African and American football teams that played in the Mandela Challenge match

2011 January Is admitted to hospital in Johannesburg where he was diagnosed with a chest infection. He is discharged after two nights

2011 May 16 Votes in the local government elections

2011 June 27 His book Nelson Mandela By Himself: The Authorised Book of Quotations is launched

2011 June 21 Is visited at home by American First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters Sasha and Malia

2011 July 18 Celebrates his 93rd birthday with his family in Qunu, Eastern Cape

2011 October 21 Is officially counted in South Africa’s Census 2011

2011 December 25 Spends Christmas with family in Qunu

2012 February 25 Admitted to hospital for abdominal complaint

February 26 Discharged from hospital

2012 July 18 Celebrates his 94th birthday with his family in Qunu, Eastern Cape

December 8 Is admitted to hospital

December 26 Is discharged from hospital2013 January 1

Spends New Year’s Day with members of his family in Johannesburg

March 9 Is admitted to hospital

March 10 Is discharged from hospital

March 27 Is admitted to hospital

April 6 Is discharged from hospital

June 8 Is admitted to hospital

July 18 Spends his 95th birthday in hospital

September 1 Is discharged from hospital

December 5 Dies 5th December 2013

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