5 August 1962

Nelson Mandela is jailed. He would not be released until 1990.

Nelson Mandela was jailed primarily for his involvement in the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. Apartheid was a system of racial segregation and discrimination enforced by the South African government from 1948 to the early 1990s, which institutionalized racial inequalities and denied basic human rights to the non-white population, particularly Black South Africans.

Mandela, a prominent leader of the African National Congress (ANC), was arrested and imprisoned for his role in advocating for the rights of Black South Africans and opposing apartheid policies. He was involved in various activities aimed at challenging the racial injustices of the system, including acts of civil disobedience, protests, and even acts of sabotage.

In 1962, Mandela was arrested and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964 for his involvement in planning acts of sabotage against government installations. He spent a total of 27 years in prison, most of it on Robben Island, before he was released in 1990. His imprisonment transformed him into a global symbol of resistance against apartheid, and his release marked a significant turning point in the struggle against racial segregation in South Africa.

Mandela’s long incarceration did not deter his commitment to peaceful negotiation and reconciliation. Following his release, he played a pivotal role in negotiating an end to apartheid and the establishment of a multiracial democratic government in South Africa. In 1994, Nelson Mandela became the country’s first Black president in its first fully representative democratic elections, and he continued to work towards national unity, social justice, and human rights until his retirement from politics in 1999.