South African Business Council

The Life of Nelson Mandela


Struggle years

• 1948 – The white-dominated National Party was re-elected into power. Mandela started to become involved in politics.

• 1952 – 1955 – Mandela led the Defiance Campaign and the Congress of the People. The organisation adopted the Freedom Charter, which marked the beginning of the anti-apartheid campaign.

• 1956 – On 5 December, Mandela and 150 others were arrested and charged with treason. The Treason Trial took place from 1956 to 1961, after which all the defendants were acquitted.

• 1961 – Nelson Mandela co-founded and became leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), which marked the ANC’s move to an armed struggle. Describing it as a last resort after experiencing years of repression and violence from the State, he realised that many years of non-violent protest against apartheid had not and would not achieve any progress.

• 1962 – On 5 August, Mandela was arrested near Howick, KwaZulu-Natal. His arrest marked the start of the Rivonia Trial and led to his sentence on 25 October 1962 to five years in prison.

• 1963 – More ANC leaders were arrested at Liliesleaf Farm, Rivonia in Johannesburg. Mandela and the rest of the leaders were charged with four charges of sabotage (which Mandela admitted to) and crimes that were equivalent to treason. The charge sheet at the trial listed 193 acts of sabotage in total.

• 1964 – Mandela made a statement at the opening of the defence case in the Rivonia Trial at the Pretoria Supreme Court, where he explained the actions of the ANC and Umkhonto we Sizwe. On 12 June all the accused were found guilty and sentenced to life impris¬onment. Mandela was sent to Robben Island, where he was incarcerated for 18 of his 27 years in prison. During this time, Mandela obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of London, UK.

• 1982 – Together with Sisulu, Andrew Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada and Raymond Mhlaba, Mandela was transferred from Robben Island to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town.
1985 – Then President PW Botha, offered Mandela his freedom on condition that he uncondi¬tionally rejected violence as a political weapon. Mandela rejected the offer. In a statement read by his daughter Zindziswa (Zindzi), he said: “What freedom am I being offered while the organisation of the people remains banned? Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts.”

• 1988 – Mandela was moved to Victor Verster Prison in Paarl and stayed there until his release.

• 1989 – President PW Botha suffered a stroke and was replaced by FW de Klerk.
Dismantling of apartheid

• On 2 February 1990, Former President FW de Klerk lifted restrictions on 33 opposition groups, including the Africa National Congress (ANC), the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) and the Communist Party, at the opening of Parliament. Nine days later Nelson Mandela, who had maintained a tough negotiating stance on the issue, was released after 27 years in prison.

• The piecemeal dismantling of restrictive legislation began. Political groups started negotiating the ending of white minority rule, and in early 1992 the white electorate endorsed former President De Klerk’s stance on these negotiations in a referendum.

• In 1993, an agreement was reached on a Government of National Unity which would allow a partnership of the old regime and the new.

First democratic steps

• South Africa’s first democratic election was held on 26, 27 and 28 April 1994, with victory going to the ANC in an alliance with the Communist Party and Cosatu. Nelson Mandela was sworn in as President on 10 May 1994 with FW de Klerk and the ANC’s Thabo Mbeki as Deputy Presidents.

• Former President Mandela’s presidency was characterised by the successful negotiation of a new Constitution (1997); a start on the massive task of restructuring the civil service and attempts to redirect national priorities to address the results of apartheid; and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), set up primarily to investigate the wrongs of the past.

• South Africa has since had three more democratic elections. In 1999 the ruling ANC retained power and Thabo Mbeki became President. The New Nationalist Party, previously the official opposition, lost ground and ceded that position to the Democratic Party, which later became the Democratic Alliance (DA).

• In 2004 South Africa’s third democratic election went off peacefully, with Thabo Mbeki and the ANC again returning to power, and the Democratic Alliance retaining its position as official opposition.

• In the 2009 elections – democratic South Africa’s fourth – the ANC again won the popular vote and Jacob Zuma was elected as President.

• South Africa also started to build a new national identity under our first democratic President. Our first democratic flag was hoisted in 1994 and our new national anthem was sung for the first time in 1997.

Undoing the ills of apartheid

• South Africa’s prudent macro-economic policy and sound fiscal management implemented during the Mandela’s presidency continues today.
o Our public debt was reduced from nearly 50 per cent of GDP in 1994 to 23 per cent in 2008. However, the global economic crises and the need for a counter cyclical stance has taken it to 41 per cent of GDP.
o Since 1994 our economy has grown by over 80 per cent.
• Under the leadership of former President Nelson Mandela, South Africa implemented the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) to address the immense socio-economic challenges brought about by apartheid.
• Almost twenty years after democracy South Africa reap the socio-economic benefits from the solid foundations former President Mandela’s administration laid to deal with post-apartheid’s challenges.
• Undoing the damage of the evil apartheid system in a short space of time was never going to be easy, however Government continues to deliver faster and smarter. Next year marks 20 years since we attained our democracy in 1994.

• We can proudly say that society has been transformed in every sphere since 1994. Income levels have increased, education levels are up and many millions of people now have access to water, electricity, sanitation and housing.

• It is all the more remarkable since many of these services have been achieved from a very low base in 1994.

• We have risen from the ashes of apartheid and stand proud on the world stage, our voice and presence is keenly felt at institutions such as the United Nations and the African Union.

• We have not allowed our divided past to shape our future and together we have built a new society on the values of a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa.

• The results of the Census 2011 indicate an increase in income levels, an improvement in the roll-out of basic services and amenities, and a rise in education levels. Many millions of people now have water, electricity, sanitation and housing, however many more are still waiting for these basic services.
o Households with access to piped water increased from 80.3 per cent in 1996 to 91.2 per cent in 2011;
o There has been an increased number in households that used electricity for lighting from 58.2 per cent in 1996 to 84.7 per cent in 2011; and households that used electricity for cooking increased from 47.5 per cent to 73.9 per cent over the same period;
o The proportion of households living in formal dwellings also increased from 65.1 per cent in 1996 to 77.6 per cent in 2011.
o School enrolment for the six-year-olds was at 49.1 per cent in 1996 and 92.7 per cent in 2011, while the enrolment of seven-year-olds increased from 73.1 per cent in 1996 to 96.1 per cent in 2011.
• In 1994 there was a massive housing backlog and the new democratically elected government prioritised the building of houses. The 2012 Midterm Review Report indicates that between 1994 and 2011 Government has created approximately 2.8 million subsidised housing opportunities.
From RDP to NDP

• This is a time to reflect on the strides we have made in achieving the vision of a better life for all. Undoubtedly much has changed since 1994 and there has been progress in every sphere of society, but we are aware that more must still be done.

• We remain committed to forming a society based on equality, freedom and human dignity for all as fought for by Nelson Mandela and countless others.

• Our National Development Plan (NDP) builds on the RDP.

• Looking back on our past and the strides we have made, we must also remain mindful of the path to our future. The National Development Plan is our future roadmap; the plan outlines the type of society we are striving for in 2030, where all will have water, roads and electricity; good schools, hospitals and clinics; safety and security; libraries and recreational facilities, a growing economy and jobs.

Former President Nelson Mandela State funeral

• The state funeral of former President Nelson Mandela will take place over a period of 10 days.

• South African flags at all official buildings will fly at half-mast throughout the period.

• The public will be given ample opportunity to pay their last respects to former President Mandela.

• There are public venues throughout the country that will serve as memorial centres where people will be able to participate in public mourning events.

• Books of condolence are being circulated to all municipalities and online spaces will be made available for people to post tributes, record memories and express their emotions.

• Books of condolence will also be accessible at our diplomatic missions around the world in the coming days.

Memorial service

• The public and media are welcome to attend a memorial service for former President Mandela at the FNB Stadium.

• The memorial service is set to take place on ….July….from…a.m. to … p.m.

• We appeal to the public to arrive early due to the large crowd that is expected to attend.

• About 80 000 people will be able to attend the memorial service on a first come first serve basis.

• The public may also watch the procession from selected stadiums in all nine Provinces as it will be broadcast live.

Lying in State

• The mortal remains of Nelson Mandela will lie in state at the Union Buildings for three days affording the public an opportunity to pay their respects.

• Preparations are in place for South Africans to pay their last respect to the remains of former President Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings.

• Members of the public will be allowed to journey to the Union Buildings, Pretoria where former President Nelson Mandela will lie in state.

• Members of the public will be allowed to file past former President Mandela’s mortal remains.

• No photography or video footage will be allowed.

• The file past will proceed in a dignified and orderly manner to ensure that as many people as possible have an opportunity to pay their respects.

• The security forces will control access to the Union Buildings and facilitate the file past process.

• Roads immediately surrounding the Union Buildings will be closed.

• A park and ride system will be used; members of the public will park at designated points and be transported to the Union Buildings by shuttle.

• Return shuttles will be in place to transport people who have completed the file past.

• Security systems are in place to ensure that people cannot file past more than once.

Transporting of remains to Qunu

• The mortal remains of former President Mandela will be flown from Air Force Base Waterkloof in Pretoria to Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

• The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will take charge of this leg of the State funeral.

• A military Guard of Honour will welcome the mortal remains which will be draped in the national flag.

• The SANDF will fly the mortal remains to the Umtata Airport in the Eastern Cape.

• Upon arrival at Umtata Airport the SANDF contingent will perform the ceremonial removal of the Mortal Remains form the Air Craft.

• The coffin will be placed on a gun carriage and then transported into a hearse.

• The SANDF will sound the national anthem while the Guard of Honour will Present Arms and salute.

• The mortal remains will thereafter be transported to the family home in Qunu.
State funeral service at Qunu

• The funeral service at Qunu will conclude the 10 day State funeral period.

• The Mandela family, the President and Cabinet, Heads of State, and other dignitaries will be in attendance.

• The SANDF will again be charged with draping the coffin and a National Salute will be performed and the National Anthem will be played.

Nelson Mandela’s legacy
• South Africa is a constitutional democracy where the rule of law applies.

• Government remains determined to ensure that all South Africans, without exception enjoy all the rights enshrined in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

• Former President Nelson Mandela has left an indelible mark on our society, having overseen the transition from apartheid to a society built on the pillars of democracy and freedom.

• His legacy lives on in our commitment to ensure a just and fair society for all, including the rights to dignity and freedom of expression.

• We will continue to address the difficult issues which face us by engaging in dialogue, mindful that any solution must be to the benefit of all.

• To celebrate Madiba’s life, we need to stay true to his ideals, including his unwavering commitment to justice, equality and a non-racial South Africa.

• All South Africans have a responsibility to promote freedom and defend our democracy in honour of Madiba’s life-long commitment to these ideals.