Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 and was the first South African to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist., and the leader of Umkhonto we sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC).
In 1962 he was arrested and convicted of sabotage and other charges, and sentenced to life in prison. Mandela served 27years in prison, spending many of these years on Robben Island. Following his release from prison on 11 February 1990, Mandela led his party in the reconciliation. In South Africa, Mandela is often known as Madiba, his Xhosa clan name. Mandela has received more than 250 awards over 4 decades, including the 1993 Nobel peace prize.
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