Life On The Job

Nelson Rohilhlahla Mandela  - 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013

South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

Nelson Mandela - African Freedom Fighter                    Nelson Mandela President

"A Xhosa born to the Thembu royal family, Mandela attended the Fort Hare University and the University of Witwatersrand, where he studied law.

Living in Johannesburg, he became involved in anti-colonial politics, joining the African National Congress (ANC) and becoming a founding member of its Youth League.

bullet.gif (981 bytes)Narrated version of the Life and Times of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela


After the South African National Party came to power in 1948, he rose to prominence in the ANC's 1952 Defiance Campaign, was appointed superintendent of the organisation's Transvaal chapter and presided over the 1955 Congress of the People.

Working as a lawyer, he was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities and, with the ANC leadership, was unsuccessfully prosecuted in the Treason Trial from 1956 to 1961. Influenced by Marxism, he secretly joined the South African Communist Party (SACP) and sat on its Central Committee. Although initially committed to non-violent protest, in association with the SACP he co-founded the militant Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) in 1961, leading a sabotage campaign against the apartheid government. In 1962, he was arrested, convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the state, and sentenced to life imprisonment in the Rivonia Trial.

Mandela served over 27 years in prison, initially on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. An international campaign lobbied for his release.

He was released in 1990, during a time of escalating civil strife. Mandela joined negotiations with President F. W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections in 1994, in which he led the ANC to victory and became South Africa's first black president.

He published his autobiography in 1995. During his tenure in the Government of National Unity he invited several other political parties to join the cabinet. As agreed to during the negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa, he promulgated a new constitution. He also created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses. While continuing the former government's liberal economic policy, his administration also introduced measures to encourage land reform, combat poverty, and expand healthcare services. Internationally, he acted as mediator between Libya and the United Kingdom in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial, and oversaw military intervention in Lesotho.

He declined to run for a second term, and was succeeded by his deputy, Thabo Mbeki. Mandela became an elder statesman, focusing on charitable work in combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Mandela was a controversial figure for much of his life. Denounced as a communist terrorist by critics, he nevertheless gained international acclaim for his activism, having received more than 250 honours, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Soviet Order of Lenin and the Bharat Ratna. He is held in deep respect within South Africa, where he is often referred to by his Xhosa clan name, Madiba, or as Tata ("Father"); he is often described as "the father of the nation". (Source: Wikipedia)


bullet.gif (981 bytes)BBC: Primary History: Nelson Mandela

BBC Primary History
bullet.gif (981 bytes)BBC - The Last Great Liberator?

The Last Liberator
bullet.gif (981 bytes)Nelson Mandela Foundation


bullet.gif (981 bytes)Frontline: The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela


bullet.gif (981 bytes)Nobel Prize

Nobel Prize
bullet.gif (981 bytes)History: Nelson Mandela


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bullet.gif (981 bytes)BBC: Apartheid (a range of resources)

bullet.gif (981 bytes)BBC News June 2013

News June 2013

bullet.gif (981 bytes)Wikipedia


bullet.gif (981 bytes)Life in Apartheid-Era South Africa


bullet.gif (981 bytes)YouTube: Remembering South African Leader Nelson Mandela


bullet.gif (981 bytes)YouTube: President Obama: Nelson Mandela "belongs to the ages"




bullet.gif (981 bytes)YouTube: Nelson Mandela's Fight for Freedom (Time: 2hours17secs) - Violent scenes shown



bullet.gif (981 bytes)YouTube: Nelson Mandela Biography - Documentary Full HD (47 mins)



Did You Know?

In the winter of 1964, Nelson Mandela arrived on Robben Island where he would spend 18 of his 27 prison years.

Map of placement of Robben Island
Robben Island (Afrikaans: Robbeneiland) is an island in Table Bay, 6.9 km west of the coast of Bloubergstrand off Cape Town.
(Source: Robben Island)

Confined to a small cell, the floor his bed, a bucket for a toilet, he was forced to do hard labor in a quarry.

He was allowed one visitor a year for 30 minutes. He could write and receive one letter every six months.

Nelson Mandela sewing on Robben Island
1966: Mandela sews prison clothes in the yard of Robben Island prison
20 years since Mandela walked free)

But Robben Island became the crucible which transformed him.

Prison Cell Robben Island
Nelson Mandela's prison cell

Through his intelligence, charm and dignified defiance, Mandela eventually bent even the most brutal prison officials to his will, assumed leadership over his jailed comrades and became the master of his own prison.

He emerged from it the mature leader who would fight and win the great political battles that would create a new democratic South Africa.
(Source: Frontline)


bullet.gif (981 bytes)Racism - What does it feel like?

PrimaryPrimary MiddleMiddle  High SchoolSecondary

Intercultural UnderstandingAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Intercultural Understanding

Literacy Australian Curriculum General Capability: Literacy

For TeachersTeachers: Instructions

1. You are to watch the Blue Eye Brown Eye Lesson by Jane Elliot for students in Year 3.

Frontline Discrimination

bullet.gif (981 bytes)YouTube: A Class Divided English Subtitles

2. You are to tell your class that you are conducting an experiment - the Brown Eye, Blue Eye experiment. They are to have full knowledge and agree to be part of this experiment.

3. In your role as Jane Elliot, you are to discriminate against one set of eye colour for all the lesson. (All day if feasible). Get your students after the lesson to write down how they felt.

4. Reverse the experiment getting the other eye colour to be dominant for the lesson (or day if possible). Get your students to write down how they felt.

5. Get your students to think about what they are going to do to change their attitudes to others who are different. What are their specific actions going to be? Get your students to list them. Check up on how they are going after a day, a week, a month, a term, a semester, a year. Has it made a difference to your students attitudes and actions? What have you observed?

6. Link this experiment up to Apartheid in South Africa.


Student Instructions

1. You will be divided in your class into two groups - either people having blue eyes or people having brown eyes.

2. During the lesson or day, you will be discriminated against.

3. You are to note down how you feel about this discrimination.

4. On a further day, you will reverse roles. Note down how you now feel.

5. Write down your changes in attitude (if there are any) and any actions you wish to undertake.

6. Nelson Mandela went to prison as a result of his fight for equality. What cause would you fight for? Write a TV News piece showing your passion for any injustice you have encountered or know to exist.



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