Key dates in the life of Nelson Mandela
Johannesburg - Key dates in the life of
- 18 July 1918: Born into Thembu royal family in Mvezo
village in southeastern South Africa.
- 1940: Expelled from Fort Hare University College for
participating in a student strike.
- 1941: Moves to Johannesburg, becomes policeman at a mine.
- 1943: Joins the African National Congress (ANC).
- 1944: Marries Evelyn Mase, a trainee nurse.
- 1952: Opens the first black law practice in Johannesburg
- 5 December 1956: Is among 156 political activists arrested
and charged with treason.
- 1958: Marries social worker Nomzamo Zaniewe Winifred Winnie
Madikizela after divorcing his first wife.
- 21 March 1960: Security forces massacre 67 protesters in
Sharpeville. The government bans ANC and Pan African Congress and declares
state of emergency.
- 1961: Acquitted in treason trial along with co-accused.
- 16 December 1961: Launch of ANC's armed wing, Umkhonto we
Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), with Mandela as commander in chief.
- 5 August 1962: Captured and sentenced on November 7 to
five years in prison for inciting a strike and leaving the country illegally.
- 1963: While serving this sentence, is charged with
sabotage along with other ANC activists arrested in Rivonia near Johannesburg.
- 12 June 1964: After famous speech from the dock (democracy
"is an ideal for which I am prepared to die"), is sentenced to life
imprisonment and sent to Robben Island prison off Cape Town.
- 5 July 1989: Meets president PW Botha and then on 13 December
with FW de Klerk, who later becomes Botha's successor.
- 11 February 1990: Released from prison.
- 5 July 1991: Elected ANC president.
- April, 1992: Separates from his wife Winnie.
- 15 October 1993: Wins Nobel Peace Prize with De Klerk.
- 27 April 1994: Votes for the first time in his life in the
country's first all-race elections.
- 10 May 1994: Inaugurated as president.
- 18 July 1998: Marries Graca Machel, widow of Mozambican
president Samora Machel.
- 1999: Steps down as president after one term.
- 1 June 2004: Announces his retirement from public life.
- 6 January 2005: Announces that his son Makgatho had died
- 19 April 2009: Makes his final political address in a
recorded message at an ANC election rally.
- 11 July 2010: Appears at the closing ceremony of the
Football World Cup in South Africa.
- 28 January 2011: Discharged from hospital after two days
of treatment for an acute respiratory infection.
- 23 May 2011: Moves to his village home in Qunu, Eastern
- 8 December 2012: Admitted to hospital in Pretoria to be
treated for a lung infection and gall stones.
- 26 December 2012: Mandela is discharged from hospital.
- 6 January 2013: Doctors say Mandela has
"recovered" although he continues to receive care at his home in
- 9 March 2013: Admitted overnight to a Pretoria hospital
for a "scheduled medical check-up". Discharged the following day
after "successful" tests.
- 27 March 2013: Mandela is readmitted to hospital for a
recurrence of a lung infection.
- 29 April 2013: The first images of
Nelson Mandela in almost
nine months are released, showing the former president surrounded by a visiting
- 8 June 2013 – Admitted to a Pretoria hospital following a
recurrence of his lung condition.