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Key dates in the life of Nelson Mandela

Key dates in the life of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela:

– July 18, 1918: Born into Thembu royal family in Mvezo village in southeast of South Africa.

– 1940: Is expelled from Fort Hare University College for participating in student strike.

– 1941: Moves to Johannesburg, becomes mine policeman.

– 1943: Joins African National Congress (ANC).

– 1944: Marries Evelyn Mase, trainee nurse.

– 1952: Opens first black law practice in Johannesburg with Oliver Tambo.

– December 5, 1956: Is among 156 political activists arrested and charged with treason.

– 1958: Marries social worker Nomzamo Zaniewe Winifred “Winnie” Madikizela, having divorced Mase in 1954.

– March 21, 1960: Security forces massacre 67 protesters in Sharpeville. Government bans ANC and Pan African Congress and declares state of emergency.

– 1961: Is acquitted in treason trial, along with co-accused.

– December 16, 1961: Launch of ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto weSizwe (Spear of the Nation), with Mandela as commander in chief.

– August 5, 1962: Captured, and sentenced on November 7 to five years in prison for incitement to strike and leaving country illegally, having earlier travelled to Ethiopia and Algeria for military training.

– 1963: While serving this sentence, is charged with sabotage along with other ANC activists arrested in Rivonia near Johannesburg.

– June 12, 1964: After famous speech from 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.

– July 5, 1989: Meets president P.W. Botha and then on December 13 with F.W. de Klerk, who later succeeds Botha.

– February 11, 1990: Released from prison.

– July 5, 1991: Elected ANC president.

– April, 1992: Separated from wife Winnie.

– October 15, 1993: Wins Nobel peace prize with De Klerk.

– April 27, 1994: Votes for the first time in his life, in the country’s first all-race elections.

– May 10, 1994: Inaugurated as president.

-July 18, 1998: Marries Graca Machel, widow of Mozambican president Samora Machel.

– 1999: Steps down as president after one term.

– June 1, 2004: Announces his retirement from public life.

– January 6, 2005: Announces that his son Makgatho had died of AIDS.

– April 19, 2009: Makes his final political address in a recorded message at an ANC election rally.

– July 11, 2010: Appears at the closing ceremony of the Football World Cup in South Africa.

– January 28, 2011: Discharged from hospital after two days of treatment for an acute respiratory infection.

– February 25, 2012: Admitted to hospital to treat a long-running abdominal complaint