As President of South Africa
South Africa’s 1stmulti-racial elections in which full freedom from political subjugation or servitude was given were held on April 27th, 1994. The African National Congress won sixty two percent of the total votes in the election, and Mandela, who was leading the ANC at that time, was inaugurated as the President on 10 May 1994, with the National Party’s Klerk & Thabo Mbeki as his first and second deputies respectively in the Government of National Unity. In the period from May 1994 to June 1999 as President, Mandela presided over the change from minority rule and apartheid, gaining international acclaim for his advocacy of national and international reconciliation. Mandela inspired black people in South Africans to follow the formerly hated Springboks (national rugby team of South Africa) when South Africa hosted the Rugby World Cup during the year 1995. After the Springboks won over New Zealand in the finals, Mandela, who was wearing a Springbok shirt, gifted the trophy to Captain Francois Pienaar, a white native of Cape Province. This was popularly regarded as a notable step in the reestablishment of cordial relations between white and black people of South Africa (Benson, 1986).
After becoming the president, one of Mandela’s trademarks was his usage of Batik shirts, termed as “Madiba shirts”, even on formal functions (Benson, 1986). In South Africa’s 1st post-apartheid military operations, Mandela placed troops in Lesotho in the year 1998 to provide protection for Pakalitha Mosisili, the then Prime Minister (Gilbey, 1993). This followed a disputed election-inspired rude opposition which dreaded the not so stable government. Several critiques including AIDS activists like Edwin Cameron have criticized Mandela for his government’s inefficiency in supporting the AIDS campaign (de Klerk, 1991). After his retirement, Mandela acknowledged that he may have failed to serve his country by not giving needed focus to the HIV/AIDS disaster. Mandela has ever since made speeches on several occasions on the AIDS epidemic (Benson, 1986).
Mandela has been married three times, and is father to six children, has 20 grandchildren, and a lot more of great-grandchildren. He is grandfather to Chief Mandla Mandela. Mandela’s was 1st married to Evelyn Ntoko (de Klerk, 1991). The marriage split up in 1957 after 13 years and they had 2 sons, Madiba Thembekile & Makgatho Mandela. Mandela and his 2nd wife, Winnie -Mandela, had two daughters, Zenani & Zindziswa and that marriage also ended in disaster (Gilbey, 1993). Mandela was again married, at his eightieth birthday in the year 1998, to Graça Machel, widow of Samora Machel, the ex-Mozambican president. Mandela’s 90th birthday was celebrated around the country on July 18th 2008; with the main functions held at his home town Qunu. At London Hyde Park a concert was held to honor him at Hyde Park. In a speech made between his birthday celebrations, Mandela asked the rich ones to help poor people all around the globe(de Klerk, 1991).
After the retirement from his President ship, Mandela went on to become a supporter for a wide range of social and human rights institutions (Benson, 1986). He has declared his strong aid for the international Make Poverty History organization of which the ONE Campaign forms an important segment. The Nelson Mandela Invitational charity golf tournament, hosted by Gary Player, has raised over 20 million rants for kids’ charities since its origin in the year 2000. This annual unique event has turned out to be South Africa’s most popular charitable sports event and aids both the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and Gary Player Foundation equally for several children’s causes all around the globe.
Mandela is a huge supporter of SOS Children’s Villages, the world’s biggest firm aimed at caring orphaned and left behind kids. Mandela made his dignified appearance in a television ad for the 2006 Winter Olympics. He was also quoted for the IOC’s (International Olympic Committee) Celebrate Humanity initiative. On August 29th in the year 2007, Richard Attenborough, Ken Livingstone, Wendy Woods, and Gordon Brown unveiled a dignified statue of Nelson Mandela at Parliament Square, London. Mandela then acknowledged that it represented not just him alone, but also every individual who have resisted tyranny, mainly those in South Africa. Mandela’s published his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, in the year 1994. Mandela was actually working on it secretly since the time he was in prison. He later co-operated with his friend, journalist Anthony Sampson who discussed with him some important incidents that he missed in his autobiography and incorporated them in the new book ‘Mandela: The Authorized Biography.’