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Nelson Mandela: Inspiring change

UBA OKEREKE and ROBYN H. JIMENEZ | 7/26/2013, 12:27 p.m.
During the last seven decades, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela has fought for human rights and peace in Africa and throughout the ...
Former South African President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa, June 2, 2009. Theana Calitz-Bilt

In 1982, he was transferred to Palismoor until he developed tuberculosis and was moved to Victor Verser for medical treatment. On Feb. 9, 1990, the ban on the ANC and the PAC was removed. Mandela was released nine days later.

After his release, he continued his mission to fight for civil rights in his country. He began making speeches calling for the end of White-minority rule. In 1991, he was elected to serve as ANC president.

Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize with then-president F.W. de Klerk and went on to be elected by Parliament as the first president of a democratic South Africa in 1994. He served until 1999.

Earlier last month, Mandela became ill. He was admitted to a South African hospital on June 8 and listed in critical condition. Though his breathing is assisted by a ventilator, he is currently listed as critical but stable. Relatives have reported that he has been able to sit up and watch television, as well as respond non-verbally when others talk to him. The presidency has issued a statement that Mandela’s condition is steadily improving and is said to be making “remarkable progress.”

Though not able to attend his annual international celebration honoring him for his life and works, those determined to honor him brought the celebration to him with a huge birthday party outside the hospital where he was staying.

Despite adversities, Mandela has fought for a democratic system, equality for everyone, and education for all who seek to learn.