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Rolihlahla Dalibhunga Mandela is born into a tribal clan in a small village in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. He is later given his English name, Nelson, by a teacher at his school.
Joins the African National Congress (ANC), initially as an activist.
Captured by police after more than a year on the run, he is convicted of sabotage and treason in June and sentenced to life imprisonment, initially on Robben Island. His wife Winnie spearheads a campaign for his release.
Bowing to the pressure, President FW de Klerk lifts the ban on the ANC and Mr. Mandela is released from prison. The ANC and the white National Party soon begin talks on forming a multi-racial democracy for South Africa.
South Africa wins the Rugby Union World Cup, and Mr Mandela is publicly presented with a team jersey by the team captain, seen as a highly symbolic gesture of unity between blacks and whites.
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