Obit of The Day: Nelson Mandela, Former South African President & Anti-Apartheid Leader, Dies At Age 95 Of Complications Related To A Recurring Lung Infection
Former South African President and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela has died from complications related to a recurring lung infection. He was 95.
Mandela was elected South Africa’s first black president by a near two-thirds margin in 1994, after spending 27 years in prison for his role as a leader in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement. He served as president for five years, until retiring in 1999.
For his part in ending apartheid, Mandela was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom and the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, among many others.
Born in 1918 in a small South African village, Mandela eventually moved to Johannesburg, where in 1942 he joined in the African National Congress, co-founding the group’s Youth League in 1944. At the time Mandela was in law school at the University of Witwatersrand, though, in part because of his focus on politics, he failed his third year exams three times and wouldn’t practice law until 1953.
His role in the ANC continued to grow throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s, helping transform the group from one reliant on petitions to one that relied upon strikes, boycotts and other forms of civil disobedience. While working with the ANC, he met and recruited a social worker, Winnie Madikizela, whom he went on to marry in 1958.
Mandela supported peaceful forms of protest until 1961, when he co-founded the armed division of the ANC, the Umkhonto we Sizwe, or MK, which focused on guerrilla warfare and sabotage, based on Mandela’s newfound beliefs that such measures were necessary to end apartheid. That same year, Mandela organized a workers’ strike. In 1962, he was arrested for the strike and sentenced to five years in prison. In early 1964, Mandela and 10 other members of the ANC were sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty on four charges of sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the government.
Mandela spent the next 18 years of his life in a prison on Robben Island, confined to a damp, 56-square foot concrete cell when he wasn’t forced to smash rocks into gravel or work in a lime quarry. For his first few years in prison, he was banned from reading any newspapers, and was allowed only one visitor and one letter every six months.
In 1982, after nearly two decades in Robben, Mandela and other ANC prisoners were transferred to the maximum security Pollsmoor Prison, where, striking up a friendship with the commanding officer, he was allowed a roof garden and and increased rate of correspondence: one letter a week. He underwent prostate surgery and contracted tuberculosis, while staying politically active as South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement battled President P.W. Botha. In 1985, offered a chance at early release, on the condition that he renounce armed struggle, Mandela declined.
At the end of the decade, in a new prison in the southwest where he was given a warder’s house and private cook, Mandela earned the law degree he had spent part of three decades studying for. Botha suffered a stroke, and was replaced by F. W. De Klerk, who, realizing that the apartheid system was unsustainable, freed all ANC prisoners except Mandela in 1989, and Mandela himself in February 1990.
Upon his release, Mandela traveled throughout Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas, meeting world leaders and giving addresses. The next year, he returned to South Africa, was elected president of the ANC, and entered into a cease fire with the ruling government.
Despite increasing personal strain involving his deteriorating marriage with Winnie, who was put on trial for kidnapping and and assault, and violence between ANC supporters and other political parties—much of it, he suspected, promoted by the state—Mandela pushed through negotiations for free and democratic elections with De Klerk. After three years of talks, spurred on by the Bisho massacre, the pair agreed to a new, interim constitution and free democratic elections.
Despite the best efforts of violent ethnic separatists, and over the fears of South Africa’s white media, the elections were held in April 1994. With 62 percent of the vote, the ANC—banned from the previous election—now controlled parliament and nearly enough votes to change the constitution.
Mandela remained in office for five years, creating the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to push for national reconciliation without alienating the wealthy white elite, increasing spending on aid and development programs in an attempt to bring parity to black and white communities. After his retirement in 1999—Mandela, aged 81, had never planned to run for a second term—he focused on charity and aid work, in particular HIV/AIDS activism.
Mandela had divorced Winnie in 1995, and in 1998 married Mozambican politican Graça Machel. He fathered six children, and is survived by his wife, Graca, and two of his children.
As you can see, these young sleeves are almost of a size where they can be on their own. Soon the juvenile sleeves will leave their mother sleeve, finding a new host dress.
Do sleeves reproduce by budding, then?
Yes. They will also sometimes form a very large, protective gall, so large that it may envelop most of the dress-wearer’s arms. Fortunately, since the Great Sleeve Outbreak of the 1830s, occurences of this parasite have been far less virulent.
We think of the sleeve as such a simple creature but when you study the many life history strategies represented in this family you begin to truly understand the great diversity of nature.
seeing my friend in this state does not feel real. i never thought something like this would happen to someone i know, let alone to my closest friend. looking at this picture is really painful for me, but her and her family’s wellbeing may depend on the kindness of friends and possibly strangers like you, so getting her story out there is really crucial. even if you don’t have money to give, if you you wouldn’t mind sharing this, maybe one of your followers will donate. that could really add up! i’ve seen other success stories on tumblr. please, please help me make my friend a success story. this is so real to me.
my friend, jenevieve kim, was hit by a car while biking home on georgia tech campus. the police report states that the accident was in a 25 mph zone and witnesses claimed she flew thirty feet from the car, yet the driver refuses to take responsibility (says it’s “her fault”) and is paying nothing. she can’t weigh in on this, of course, because she remembers nothing of the accident, which is understandable considering she has a cracked skull, internal head bleeding, a broken leg, ribs, and a cracked hip among other expensive injuries. the cost for keeping her alive is estimated to be over $15,000.
i’m so grateful she’s survived, but she’s still in pretty awful shape. plus, she doesn’t have insurance. and her family is struggling as it is and won’t be able to help her. (she was previously helping them financially. btw, she’s 20.) jen is the hardest worker i know, a selfless friend, and was previously paying her own way through college. she was forced to quit her music business internship (her dream job) next semester because of this and won’t be able to attend school at all for a long time.
my friend is on her own with all of this. but i decided it doesn’t have to be that way. life itself isn’t fair by any means (see above. did i mention this happened the week after her birthday? like holy shit), but regardless there are still good people in this world. as a community, we can do everything we can to even the score. please help me take this off my friend’s plate so she can heal.
if you could consider sharing this with your followers or friends, jen’s loved ones and supporters will be forever grateful. every person who shares this will be personally thanked. i don’t care if this reaches a thousand notes (which i doubt), every kind stranger who supports my friend in any way deserves a personal thank you.
also, every single person who donates will receive a handmade gift. i don’t care if you’re all the way in korea. you will receive a handmade token of appreciation. there’s been 99 donators thus far; i (and a few of our friends) already started making a few things. they’ll be really cool, promise!
if you have any fundraising suggestions, words of encouragement, or would like to help in any way please feel free to contact me. thank you sincerely for taking the time to read jen’s story, and thank you to my followers, who will no doubt hear about this story for quite some time, for being so patient. i realize i was almost exclusively a k/j-horror blog previously, which makes this a bit more surreal for me. thanks! please signal boost!