R.I.P Nelson Mandela

The death of Nelson Mandela has affected an array of people throughout the world. The 95-year-old civil rights leader was more than the face of post-Apartheid South Africa, he was the embodiment of a movement that asked for basic human dignity regardless of colour or creed.

Honoured throughout his life for his works with HIV/AIDS, social justice, and poverty, the Nobel Peace Prize winner also touched many in the world of fashion.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary as well as a politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

In April 1959, militant Africanists dissatisfied with the ANC's united front approach founded the Pan-African Congress (PAC); Mandala's friend Robert Sobukwe was elected president, though Mandela thought the group "immature". Both parties campaigned for an anti-pass campaign in May 1960, in which Africans burned the passes that they were legally obliged to carry. One of the PAC-organised demonstrations was fired upon by police, resulting in the deaths of 69 protesters in the Sharpeville massacre. In solidarity, Mandela publicly burned his pass as rioting broke out across South Africa, leading the government to proclaim martial law. Under the State of Emergency measures, Mandela and other activists were arrested on 30 March, imprisoned without charge in the unsanitary conditions of the Pretoria Local prison, while the ANC and PAC were banned in April. This made it difficult for their lawyers to reach them, and it was agreed that the defence team for the Treason Trial should withdraw in protest. Representing themselves in court, the accused were freed from prison when the state of emergency was lifted in late August. Mandela used his free time to organise an All-In African Conference near Pietermaritzburg, Natal, in March, at which 1,400 anti-apartheid delegates met, agreeing on a stay-at home protest to mark 31 May, the day South Africa became a republic. On 29 March 1961, after a six-year trial, the judges produced a verdict of not guilty, embarrassing the government.

Mandela died of a lung infection on 5 December 2013 at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg. He was 95 years of age and surrounded by his family. His death was announced by President Jacob Zuma. On 6 December Zuma announced a national mourning period of ten days, with the main event being an official memorial service to be held at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on 10 December 2013. Mandala's body will lie in state from 11 to 13 December at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and a state funeral will be held on 15 December 2013 in Qunu.



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