Nelson Mandela




18 July 1918-5 December 2013

“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.”

Briefly , Nelson Mandela was the first president of South Africa who was anti apartheid revolutionary and was prisoned for 27 years , then later released and devoted his life for the struggle of inequality , racism , poverty. He studied law in Fort Hare University and the University of Witwatersrand , influenced by Marxism , Lenin , Engels , Stalin , Zeodong .He was a vocal supporter of the British war effort when the Second World War broke out. On 30 July 1952, Mandela was arrested under the Suppression of Communism Act .After his release he focused on poverty and AIDS. He became “The Father of the Nation”.

“Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.”

He believed all African people must be independent.

“We, the people of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know:

That South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of the people.”

Umkhonto we Sizwe

Umkhonto we Sizwe meaning; “The Spear of the Nation”, was the military wing of the African National Congress. “The ANC deems itself a force of national liberation in the post-apartheid era; it officially defines its agenda as the National Democratic Revolution.” (Wikipedia)They committed violence to achieve their aims as it was thought violence was necessity (Church Street Bombing and the Magoo’s Bar bombing). and then it’s members became a minority while Nelson Mandela was in fashion as he was doing those protests by vocally not violently.

National Assembly
Election year # of

overall votes

 % of

overall vote

# of

overall seats won

2014NELSON MANDELA 11,436,921 62.15 249 / 400 15
2009 11,650,748 65.90 264 / 400 15
2004 10,880,915 69.69 279 / 400 13
1999 10,601,330 66.35 266 / 400 14
1994 12,237,655 62.65 252 / 400



Gini coefficient is a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income distribution of a nation’s residents, and is the most commonly used measure of inequality.


From a scientific research: Inequality Trends in South Africa

   As for the Gini coefficient , South Africa is most unequal country in the world. Much of the country’s inequality stems from apartheid’s effect on different races, but other factors also play important roles. Inequality in South Africa is highly correlated with race. The system of apartheid, instituted from 1948-1994, determined economic possibilities and expectations based on race, contributing deeply to the unequal society that exists today.

The National Party instituted apartheid in South Africa starting in 1948. It codified laws mandating racial categorization and exclusion. In particular, all non-whites were excluded not only from the political system, but also from most respectable jobs and good education. Specifically, apartheid aimed to physically separate the races, which was difficult to carry out in practice. Furthermore, the apartheid government concerned itself greatly with the welfare of the white population, hoping to improve the standing of poor whites As a result, poor people of European background greatly benefited from apartheid, as they were able to move into higher classes, bypassing well-educated non-whites.

As can be seen in the table to the above (taken from Race, Class, and Inequality in South Africa), the Gini coefficient for the white population in 1975 stood at a relatively low .36, signifying the success of the apartheid government in bolstering the position of the poorer members of the white community.

After 1975, the tendency toward increasing intra-racial equality reversed. As can been seen in the table to the right (also from Race, Class, and Inequality in South Africa), recent decades have seen a dramatic increase in inequality within racial groups. In the mid 1970s, the apartheid regime began to loosen its restrictions, allowing some educated non-whites to take higher-level jobs. Also important was the shifting labor market. Jobs requiring little education, particularly in mining, began to diminish after 1975. Without jobs or a solid education to use in the evolving labor force, many non-whites were left without work. These factors, among others, allowed for the increase of inequality within races, even as overall disparities in South Africa remained similar to what they had been.

With the end of apartheid in 1994, the chances for mobility increased. As a result, levels of inequality within all racial groups are slowly beginning to reflect the national average. Indeed, the end of apartheid has given many educated non-whites the opportunity (through dismantling apartheid laws) and assistance (through affirmative action) to obtain professional jobs. However, the vast majority of the black population still suffers severely from lack of marketable skills. Such discrepancies will continue to be felt in the next generation, as levels of education vary tremendously among social classes.

When government transfers are taken into account, the Gini index of South Africa is significantly reduced. As Race, Class, and Inequality in South Africa states, the Gini coefficient drops to about 0.50 when taxes and cash transfers are taken into account, and are reduced even further, to about 0.44 (a figure similar to that of the United States), when public social spending is added.


Apartheid System :

Apartheid (which is an Afrikaans word meaning “apartness”) was a political and social system in South Africa while it was under white minority rule (meaning white people ruled the country, even though there were not as many of them as there were black people). This was in use in the 20th century, from 1948 to 1994. The system of apartheid in South Africa was banned in 1994. The last president under apartheid was Frederick Willem de Klerk .After this, Nelson Mandela became the first black president.

The aim of apartheid was to separate the people of South Africa into small independent nations. The black ones were called Bantustans. The National Party government did not want to spend a lot of money on this project. Also, they wanted to keep the majority of South Africa’s land for white people, especially the richest places, like the gold mines ofJohannesburg.

They wanted black men to work in these mines for little money but their families had to live far away.

The government separated mixed communities and forcibly moved many people. Many laws were made, for example: people of different races were not allowed to mary each other; black people could not own land in white areas or vote. (Wikipedia)

List of apartheid laws:

Those I listed down are a minority of the listed. There were pages of laws but I picked some.

Sexual apartheid

These laws were repealed by the Immorality and Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Amendment Act, 1985.

Land tenure and geographic segregation

The Group Areas Act, 1950 (re-enacted in 1957 and 1966) divided urban areas into “group areas” in which ownership and residence was restricted to certain population groups.

Segregation in education

Bantu Education Act, 1953

The Bantu Education Act, 1953 (Act No. 47 of 1953; later renamed the Black Education Act, 1953) was a segregation law which legalised several aspects of the apartheid system. Its major provision was enforcing racially separated educational facilities.


A Bantustan (also known as a Bantu homeland, black homeland, black state, or simply homeland) was a territory set aside for South Africa’s black inhabitants during apartheid.

Causes of post-apartheid inequality


South Africa has extremely high unemployment rates. The overall unemployment rate was 26% in 2004, but historically disadvantaged groups like rural populations, women, and blacks experience higher rates of unemployment. Unemployment is mainly concentrated among unskilled blacks, who comprise 90% of the unemployed. The ANC government has pledged to cut overall unemployment to 14% by 2014, but so far, their efforts have not caused dramatic drops in unemployment. Much of the high unemployment rate is due to the declining manufacturing industry. The unemployment rate for black South Africans has increased from 23% in 1991 to 48% in 2002. Unemployment continues to rise despite robust economic growth, suggesting structural factors that may be constraining the labor market.

I do not deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation and oppression of my people by the whites.

Nelson Mandela

Source :

African American Impact

November 13, 2007

UNC study shows African Americans add $44.7 billion to state’s economy

Chapel Hill — North Carolina’s growing African American population contributes more than $44.7 billion to the state’s economy through its purchases and taxes – $22,272 per black resident – while costing the state budget $4.5 billion – or $2,498 per black resident – for health care, education and corrections, according to a new report by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

If recent growth trends continue, the total economic impact of black spending in the state could increase to $60 billion by 2009.

Among the findings of the study, which used 2004 and 2005 data for analysis:

North Carolina’s African American population totaled 1.8 million, or 21.8 percent of the state’s total population, and accounted for 20.4 percent of the state population growth from 1980 to 2004.

Forty-two percent of the African American population is concentrated in six metropolitan counties: Mecklenburg, Wake, Guilford, Cumberland, Durham and Forsyth.

The state’s African American population is substantially younger (median age 32) than the state’s white population (median age 39). African Americans are less likely than whites to live in nuclear families (41.1 percent versus 70.1 percent) and more likely to live in single-parent families (42 percent versus 11 percent).

African American households (average size 3.3 persons) tend to be larger than white households (average size 3.0 persons). African Americans accounted for 29.3 percent of the state’s overall workforce increase between 1995 and 2005, with two sectors – education and health services (118,522) and leisure and hospitality services (71,034) – absorbing the largest increases of workers.

The median education level for both blacks and whites is a high-school diploma. However, a $19,570 difference exists between the two groups in median household income and an $11,970 difference exists in per-capita income.

Racial disparities in earnings and income are due primarily to the fact that blacks are more likely than whites to be concentrated in low-paying occupations within North Carolina industries.

The share of African Americans incarcerated in North Carolina (59.4 percent of all people incarcerated in the state) is nearly three times their share of the state’s total population (21.8 percent).

African Americans annually pay $3.8 billion in state and local taxes (direct and indirect), while costing state and local budgets about $4.5 billion annually for K-12 education ($2.7 billion), health care ($1.3 billion), and corrections ($453 million), for a net cost to the state of about $759 million, or approximately $420 per resident after their tax contributions are considered. –



“If this argument is correct, it predicts a bleak future for South Africa. In 1990 42 percent of the population lived in poverty.1 In 1991 South Africa had a Gini co-efficient, which measures the extent of income inequality, of 0.68, the highest in a group of 36 developing countries. That same year the poorest 40 percent of households earned 4 percent of national income, while the richest 10 percent received more than half.2 In 1995 unemployment among Africans was calculated to be 37 percent – almost certainly an underestimate.3

The appalling economic plight of the black majority was summed up recently by the Socialist Workers Organisation of South Africa:

Only one out of five African households have running water BUT every white household has running water.

One quarter of all African households get less than R300 a month. Two thirds get less than the breadline – R900 a month. BUT two thirds of white households get more than R2000 a month.

Two thirds of African children and half of Coloured children live in overcrowded houses BUT only 1 out of 100 white children live in overcrowded conditions.

Less than half of African kids live in a proper brick house. The rest live in shacks or huts BUT most white children live in a brick house.4

Leaving in place such poverty and inequality would help to perpetuate the desperation and misery that have produced levels of violence, both political and criminal, making South Africa one of the most dangerous societies in the world. It would also, over time, undermine the political achievements of the ANC led mass movement. To see whether such a grim outcome is inevitable we need, in the first instance, to consider the process that brought about the triumph of April 1994 in the first place.”




The test of office

The ANC finally crossed the portals of state power in May 1994. It could claim a popular mandate arising from its overwhelming electoral victory (see Table 1). Thanks to this triumph, it not only had a large majority in the National Assembly, but controlled seven of the nine provincial governments set up under the new constitution.

TABLE 1: Results of the Elections of 26-29 April 1994

Party                             Percentage of Vote Seats

African National Congress               62.50           252

National Party                         20.39           82

Inkatha Freedom Party                   10.54           43

Freedom Front                           2.17             9

Democratic Party                         1.73             7

Pan-Africanist Congress                 1.25             5

African Christian Democratic Party       0.45             2

[Source: A. Reynolds, (ed), Elections ’94 South Africa (London, 1994)]

The ANC had campaigned on the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), which set out a number of specific policy objectives intended to advance both ‘social upliftment’ and ‘economic development’ over the following five years. These included:

building one million houses;

creating 300,000 to 500,000 non-farm jobs a year;

redistributing 30 percent of agricultural land; providing clean drinking water for the 12 million people currently denied access to it;

introducing adequate sanitation for the 21 million people without it;

supplying electricity to 19,000 black schools, 4,000 clinics, and two thirds of homes, all then without it;

redressing the imbalance in access to telephone lines – one line for 100 blacks, 60 for 100 whites;

a ten year transition to compulsory schooling;

class sizes to be no more than 40 by the year 2000.”

More for Nelson Mandela :

Nelson Mandela (top row, second from left) on the steps of Wits University. Image courtesy Andrew Sam

Entering politics:

-He only joined the African National Congress in 1944 when he helped to form the ANC Youth League.

-In 1952 he was chosen at the National Volunteer-in-Chief of the Defiance Campaign with Maulvi Cachalia as his deputy.

-This campaign of civil disobedience against six unjust laws was a joint programme between the ANC and the South African Indian Congress. He and 19 others were charged under the Suppression of Communism Act for their part in the campaign and sentenced to nine months hard labour, suspended for two years.

Nelson Mandela on the roof of Kholvad House in 1953. Image courtesy of the A Kathrada Foundation

The Treason Trial

Nelson Mandela was arrested in a countrywide police swoop on 5 December 1955, which led to the 1956 Treason Trial. Men and women of all races found themselves in the dock in the marathon trial that only ended when the last 28 accused, including Mandela were acquitted on 29 March 1961.

-On 11 January 1962, using the adopted name David Motsamayi, Nelson Mandela secretly left South Africa. He travelled around Africa and visited England to gain support for the armed struggle. He received military training in Morocco and Ethiopia and returned to South Africa in July 1962.

-On 9 October 1963 Nelson Mandela joined ten others on trial for sabotage in what became known as the Rivonia Trial. While facing the death penalty his words to the court at the end of his famous ‘Speech from the Dock’ on 20 April 1964 became immortalised:

“I have fought against white domination , and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. B8ut if needs be , it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

466/64 is one of Mandela’s prisoner numbers

Release from prison

On 12 August 1988 he was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with tuberculosis.


On 10 May 1994 he was inaugurated South Africa’s first democratically elected President.

Nelson Mandela never wavered in his devotion to democracy, equality and learning. Despite terrible provocation, he never answered racism with racism. His life is an inspiration to all who are oppressed and deprived; and to all who are opposed to oppression and deprivation.

He died at his home in Johannesburg on 5 December 2013.


Behind bars he continued to influence people. A life itself may seem meaningless as we are thrown out here. There is a limited time that we must fulfill but how to fill it , it’s your choice.

When I was a kid , I thought that there was only one country throughout the world ; Turkey and one language ; Turkish. I grew up and came to acknowledge that there are thousand of ethnics but never separated them from us , never thought that they were completely different from us. They were just human beings with a bit different appearance , language and region but that’s it but years has passed and I’m aware of how discrimination is a common sense between mankind. However eventually , we come to know that we are all identical and nothing can change it.

Through your life path , you can go 2 ways ; you may achieve to be a good person and make yourself unforgettable or you may achieve to be a bad person and make yourself unforgettable and this man chose to signify a pure goodness , felt the glory of seeing another person’s smiling owing to him. Nothing in this world can make you utterly happy but helping and sharing.

I wish that this man and any person like him would lead us a way of pure love where evil can not find us. I would love to end my words with Michael Jackson’s words that would clarify my sentences ; “ Let us dream of tomorrow where we can truly love from the soul and know love as the ultimate truth at the heart of all creation.”

Let’s heal the world..


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