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Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa died at 95

Dec 6, 2013 09:30 IST

Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid revolutionary of South Africa died on 5 November 2013. He was of 95 years old. He died in his house at Johannesburg following a long illness. He was also known as Madiba in South Africa. He was receiving intensive medical care at home for a lung infection after spending three months in hospital.

His death was announced by the South African President, Jacob Zuma. He announced that Mandela will receive a full state funeral and the flags would be flown at half-mast until the state funeral. Nelson Mandela was one of the world's most revered statesman for preaching reconciliation despite being imprisoned for 27 years.

Nelson Mandela

He was the first black South African to hold the office of President from 1994 to 1999, and the first elected in a fully representative multiracial election.

Mandela was married three times, fathered six children and had 17 grandchildren. The three wives were Evelyn Ntoko Mase, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Graca Machel Mandela.

About Nelson Mandela
• He was born on 1918 in Eastern Cape
• He joined the African National Congress in 1943
• In 1962, he was arrested and was convicted of incitement and leaving country without a passport. He was sentenced to five years in prison
• In 1964, he was charged with sabotage, sentenced to life
• He was freed from the prison in 1990
• In 1999, he stepped down as leader
• In 2001, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer

Awards received by Nelson Mandela
Mandela has received more than two hundred and fifty awards over four decades, some of the awards are:
• He was the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993
• He was the recipient of Bharat Ratna and Mahatma Gandhi peace award
• The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 18 July, Mandela's birthday, as Mandela Day, for his contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle
• In 1973 a nuclear particle discovered by scientists at the University of Leeds was named Mandela nelson
• In 1979 he became the recipient of the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations New Delhi, India
• In 1981, a panel of International Judges, Vienna, Austria, chose him for the Bruno Kreisky Award for merit in the field of human rights

Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as the President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was the Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.

Mandela served 27 years in prison, initially on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison.

Mandela published his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom and opened negotiations with President F.W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections in 1994, in which he led the ANC to victory. As South Africa's first black President Mandela formed a Government of National Unity in an attempt to defuse racial tension. He also promulgated a new constitution and created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses. Continuing the former government's liberal economic policy, his administration introduced measures to encourage land reform, combat poverty, and expand healthcare services. Internationally, he acted as mediator between Libya and the United Kingdom in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial, and oversaw military intervention in Lesotho. He declined to run for a second term, and was succeeded by his deputy, Thabo Mbeki. Mandela subsequently became an elder statesman, focusing on charitable work in combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Order of Canada he was the first living person to be made an honorary Canadian citizen. The last recipient of the Soviet Union's Lenin Peace Prize from the Soviet Union, in 1992 received Pakistan's Nishan-e-Pakistan. In 1992 he was awarded the Atatürk Peace Award by Turkey which he accepted in 1999. Elizabeth II awarded him the Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order of St. John and the Order of Merit.

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