Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born to Henry Mandela, Chief of Tembu tribe on 18th July 1918 at Transkei in South Africa. Mandela did his studies on University College of Fort Hare and Witwatersrand University and became a law graduate in the year 1942.By the year 1944 after education he joined hands with African National Congress and raised his difference of opinion against the apartheid system of ruling National Party in 1949. He was arrested on trial for criminal offence during the years from 1956-1961 and was released in the year 1961.
After African National Congress was banned in the year 1960, Nelson Mandela proclaimed the necessity of a military branch within African National Congress. By June 1961,the top officials of ANC agreed with Mandela’s proposal for military wing and stated that any members who wish to join the wing can whole heartedly do so and that there wont be any opposition from the ANC.
In the following years Umkhonto we Sizwe was formed and no later after its formation
Mandela was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to 5 years in jail along with enforced labor.
In 1963, when many fellow leaders of the ANC and the Umkhonto we Sizwe were arrested,
Mandela was forced to suffer punishment with them for planning to overthrow the government by terrorism.
His declaration in the court brought him tremendous publicity from the national and international realm. On the day of his release, Mandela made a speech to the nation. He declared his commitment to peace and reconciliation with the country’s white minority, but made it clear that the ANC’s armed struggle was not yet over: “We resorted to the armed protest in 1960 with the building up of the military branch of the African National Congress (Umkhonto we Sizwe).It was a clear cut protest action against the dreadful policy of apartheid. The causes which triggered the violent struggle is still prevalent today. We have no choices other than continuing with those violent tactics. We anticipate the hope that an environment contributing to a negotiated settlement would be generated soon, so that there will no more be the necessity for the armed protest. ” He also told his main goal was to bring peace to the black people and provide them the right for vote in all national and regional elections.