Nelson Mandela a Man of Many Faces (Update)

Nelson Mandela in Robben Island prison

Sources claim iconic South African leader Nelson Mandela, has died. He was a man of many faces: Law student; activist; terrorist, prisoner, politician and President. As head of the African National Congress (ANC) he saw the end of South Africa’s system of racial laws, known as Apartheid, and became the beloved President of the newly integrated nation.

Unlike Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Mandela showed restraint, guile and a conciliatory style of diplomacy which, without question, prevented what could have been a civil war and bloodbath, following the end of white rule. The white Afrikaners, descended from Dutch settlers, implemented the apartheid system in 1948. The African National Congress, which had been formed in 1912 as the South African Native National Congress, had been struggling to fight for the rights of blacks and attracted law student Mandela to their ranks. In 1955, he became President of the Transvaal branch of the ANC. In 1961, working in cooperation with the South African Communist Party, he founded the ANC’s paramilitary wing, known as Umkhonto we Sizwe (“Spear of the Nation”) or MK.

Already, Mandela had become a man of many faces. After leading a bombing campaign against the South African government, Mandela was arrested in 1962 for inciting a strike and illegally leaving the country – he had traveled, without permission, to Ethiopia – where he met with other African nationalist leaders – England and Algeria. He was initially sentenced to five years, but was later brought to trial for terrorism-related charges, after he had been linked to the militant activities of the MK. At his trial, Mandela, the former advocate for non-violent protest, justified his turning to violence; “It would be wrong and unrealistic for African leaders to continue preaching peace and nonviolence at a time when the government met our peaceful demands with force. It was only when all else had failed, when all channels of peaceful protest had been barred to us, that the decision was made to embark on violent forms of political struggle.”

For the next 27 years, Mandela was incarcerated at the infamous Robben Island prison and, later, at other locations. During these years, he grew to be a legend, a martyr and a hero for black South Africans. following his release, it seemed as if he was destined to become, first, leader of the ANC and then President of South Africa. The last of Mandela’s many faces was of beloved elder statesman and “Father of the Nation”. His passing marks the end of a painful, turbulent and remarkable era for South Africa.

Graham J Noble

14 Responses to "Nelson Mandela a Man of Many Faces (Update)"

  1. lutanda   August 30, 2013 at 11:26 am

    mandela was a freedom fighter not a terrorist

  2. Abiel Mokotso   July 9, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Your editor is inhuman how can he killed a person who is still alive. Imagine people claim you are dead though you are still able to open your eyes. Don’t sell your newspaper with lies.

  3. badmoodman   June 27, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    If only this column could be re-edited and corrected, or pulled offline altogether. If only….

  4. ismael shameem etowar   June 27, 2013 at 9:33 am

    I think you got it wrong there people. Mandela is not dead, he is still in a very critical condition.

  5. Guy Thompson   June 27, 2013 at 3:21 am

    well done on great journalism – Incompetent retards! He is still alive but in a critical condition. Maybe you should research local news companies:

  6. mzwandile Mhlaliseni Ndimande(estcourt)   June 27, 2013 at 2:51 am

    plz good people,dont ever ever play with the death of such world icon,the whole world will shake,due to your false report.TATA MADIBA IS ALIVE,viva ANC viva

  7. Guy in South Africa   June 27, 2013 at 2:05 am

    Graham J Noble please state your source. This comes across as reckless and irresponsible journalism. You guys should withdraw your statements about Mandela being dead or publicize your source. This better not be a desperate attempt to draw attention and be the first to say Mandela has died. Lets have some respect for the man, and not try to benefit even from his death.

  8. me   June 27, 2013 at 1:45 am

    mandela on a life support, you think you can make money by being the first to say he dead, sorry man he aint

  9. Tsholofelo   June 27, 2013 at 1:26 am

    you cant report this without facts though, how realiable are these sources. I am in South African and no word of this….

    is this true?

  10. Graham J Noble   June 26, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    We have extremely reliable sources in South Africa who have informed us that he is.

    • RorschachUK   June 27, 2013 at 4:50 am

      You’re claiming your “extremely reliable source” says he died Tuesday. It’s now Thursday, and his daughter says (today!) that he’s responding, he’s critical but stable, and he’s “trying to open his eyes”. Do you think maybe she’s less “reliable” than your supposed “source”?

      You are practising “Cargo Cult” journalism – you’ve seen what real articles in real papers by real writers look like, and you’re sprinkling in the same sort of words and phrases to try to make it look the same – but you are not a real writer, you do not have a source, this is not a real paper, and you do not create a reputation by pumping out any old nonsense as click bait to sell advertising.

      The whole WORLD has seen you get this one wrong AND fail to correct it a day later. What do you think will happen next time they see an article from here make a sensational claim? They’ll see it’s from GuardianLV and will, quite rightly, conclude, “Oh, it’s just from that crappy site that claimed Mandela was dead and thinks you get superpowers from staring at the sun, never mind”. What do you think will happen when you try to move on from this scammy content farm and get a job with a real news agency? They will look at your bylines (just this and some nonsense about not liking soccer, as far as I can find) and quickly show you the door. This doesn’t help your career or reputation, and it doesn’t help this site become a respected or trusted source – before very long people will learn to avoid it like the plague, because of articles just like this one.

    • badmoodman   June 27, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      So reliable they must remain secret. Riiiiiiight….

  11. 11   June 26, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    He isn’t dead yet by the way…


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