- May the great man's soul rest in peace. On this sad occasion, let us remember some of the things that happened in his life.
Nelson Mandela was convicted of sabotage and attempting to violently overthrow the government.
9. During his time in prison, Mandela was restricted to a 2m x 2.5m cell, with nothing but a bedroll on the floor and a bucket for sanitation in it. He was consigned to hard labour in a lime quarry for much of that time and was, at first, only allowed one visitor and one letter every six months.
10. The apartheid government offered to release Mandela on no less than six occasions but he rejected them each time. On one such occasion Mandela released a statement saying: "I cherish my own freedom dearly, but I care even more for your freedom ... What freedom am I being offered while the organisation of the people [the ANC] remains banned?"
11. Mandela wrote a memoir during the 70s, copies of which were wrapped in plastic containers and buried in a vegetable garden which he kept at prison. It was hoped that fellow prisoner Mac Maharaj, who was due for release, would be able to smuggle it out. But the containers were discovered when prison authorities began building a wall through the garden. As punishment, Mandela's study privileges were revoked.
The ANC was labelled a terrorist organisation by the apartheid government and was recognised as such by countries including the US and Britain. It was only in 2008 that the United States finally removed Mandela and other ANC members from its terror list.
14. The United Nations declared his birthday, July 18, Nelson Mandela International Day. This was the first time the UN dedicated a particular day to a person.
15. Hundreds of awards and honours have been bestowed on Mandela. Among others, he is an honorary citizen of Canada, an honorary member of the British Labour Party, and an honorary member of Manchester United. He also had a nuclear particle (the 'Mandela particle'), a prehistoric woodpecker (Australopicus nelsonmandelai) and an orchid (Paravanda Nelson Mandela) named after him.
what a great man he was!