This past Wednesday, July 18th, Nelson Mandela – the militant anti-apartheid activist who became the first President of South Africa to be elected in a fully representative democratic election – celebrated his 94th birthday! In 1962 Mandela was arrested and convicted of sabotage and other charges, and sentenced to life imprisonment. Mandela went on to serve 27 years in prison, spending many of these years on Robben Island. Following his release from prison on February 11th, 1990, Mandela led his party in the negotiations that resulted in the establishment of democracy in 1994. As President, Mandela frequently gave priority to reconciliation, while introducing policies aimed at combating poverty and inequality in South Africa.
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