The UN General Assembly, in November of 2009, declared July 18th as “Nelson Mandela International Day.” The reason for their declaration was that Nelson Mandela, born on this day, devoted 67 years of his life in service to humanity. Due to the dedication and sacrifice of Nelson Mandela, the efforts of the people he led and inspired, and international pressure upon the government of South Africa, we today have a better world. Please click HERE to read the UN Declaration.
Time has passed since the end of apartheid in South Africa, and young people in today’s world may not know and understand the long battle that was engaged in to bring an end to this horrific system of racism, prejudice and discrimination.
In honoring the life of Nelson Mandela we will first answer the question… what is apartheid? The following paragraph is from Britannica.com. “Apartheid, (Afrikaans: “apartness”) policy that governed relations between South Africa’s white minority and nonwhite majority for much of the latter half of the 20th century, sanctioning racial segregation and political and economic discrimination against nonwhites.”
Apartheid was strongly resisted by Black South Africans. The African National Congress (ANC) campaigned to defy the system by entering white areas, using white facilities and refusing to carry “passes”. The government banned the ANC in 1960.
Nelson Mandela was an ANC activist who committed his life to the overthrow of the apartheid system. Because of his activities as an attorney and a leader, he was arrested in 1956 for seditious activities. His ‘treason trial’ prosecution was unsuccessful, but he was arrested again in 1962 as an ANC leader and sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the State. He spent 27 years in prison.
During these years the government of South Africa came under increasing international pressure to end the apartheid system. Finally, under fears of a racial civil war, the President of South Africa, President F.W. deKlerk, released Mandela from prison. That was in 1990. Nelson Mandela and President deKlerk led efforts to bring an end to apartheid. In the 1994 multiracial election, Mandela led the ANC to victory and became President of South Africa. In 1996, the country initiated a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in an attempt to reckon with the gross human rights violations during apartheid.
The History website covers how apartheid was brought to an end through internal and international pressure. “The formal end of the apartheid government in South Africa was hard-won. It took decades of activism from both inside and outside the country, as well as international economic pressure, to end the regime that allowed the country’s white minority to subjugate its Black majority. This work culminated in the dismantling of apartheid between 1990 and 1994.” We encourage readers to enjoy the full article HERE.
The UN resolution that created Nelson Mandela Day International recognizes Mandela’s service to humanity. Nelson Mandela was and is a true international hero who contributed significantly to a better world.
AMS Fulfillment is happy to recognize and honor his service. On Nelson Mandela Day International we encourage our readers to study the life of this man who helped to create a better world through 67 years of battle and sacrifice. We believe that every one of us has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better! Thank you Nelson Mandela!
At the Nobel Peace Prize website readers can enjoy some biographical information and find inspiration in the life of this exemplary man. Click HERE to enjoy this information.