Nelson Mandela becomes President of South Africa

Nelson Mandela (1918–2013) was a South African black nationalist who spent 27 years in prison for fighting against the country’s discriminatory apartheid system of racial segregation. After his release, Mandela became president of the African National Congress (ANC). In 1993 Mandela and then President de Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 

In April 1994, the ANC won South Africa’s first elections. Mandela was sworn in as president of South Africa on May 10, 1994. Since 2009, his birthday on July 18 has been observed annually as Nelson Mandela International Day.

Image: Mandela in Washington, DC 1994: © copyright John Mathew Smith 2001. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license