Paper: An Analysis of South Africa's First Post-Apartheid President

In 1961 he went underground and formed Umkhonto we Sizwe, the ANC's military wing. After returning from an illegal trip abroad, where he had arranged for guerrilla training, Mandela was arrested and convicted of illegal exit and incitement to strike. He was subsequently convicted of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government and sentenced to life imprisonment. During his 27 years behind bars, Mandela galvanized worldwide support for the fight against apartheid by becoming a symbol for equal rights and justice. Mandela is our Moses. He was instructed by God to come and take his people to the promised land. Dinah Skosane, 60, a South African voter, after the election After his release in 1990 he played a pivotal role as ANC president in negotiating the end of apartheid. In 1993 he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with South African President F.W. de Clerk anda year later, at age 75, was elected president himself. On Dec. 10, 1996 amid chants of "Power to the people!" Mandela signed the country's new constitution, which includes sweeping human-rights and antidiscrimination guarantees. Mandela stepped down a president in June 1999, having groomed Deputy President Thabo Mbeki as his successor for years. He left behind a country still troubled by racial hatred, crushing poverty and staggering violent crime. But he remains the most revered man in the country, credited with a remarkable transition from tyranny to democracy, and a commitment to reconciliation that saved the country from a violent bloodbath. After a messy divorce from his high-profile wife Winnie Madikizela in 1996, he married Graca Machel, widow of former Mozambican president Samora Machel, on his 80th birthday in July 1998. Upon his retirement, he said he planned to enjoy the peace and freedom that took a lifetime to achieve, living in his native Eastern Cape village, spending time with his wife and grandchildren and writing his memoirs....