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Why did Nelson Mandela go to prison?

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Quick Answer

In 1962, Nelson Mandela was convicted by the South African government on charges of inciting public strikes and leaving the country without permission. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

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Why did Nelson Mandela go to prison?
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Full Answer

In 1963, while serving his prison term, Mandela was put on trial again. The charges were sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the South African government. Mandela admitted to the charge of sabotage, but maintained his innocence on the conspiracy counts. In 1964, he was found guilty on all charges and was given a life sentence. Mandela was released from prison on Feb. 2, 1990. He was elected president of South Africa in 1994, serving one full five-year term. Mandela died on Dec. 3, 2013.

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  • Q:

    Was Nelson Mandela a terrorist?

    A:

    As late as 2008, Nelson Mandela was considered a terrorist by the U.S. government, according to NBC News. In 1986, Mandela's political party, the African National Congress (ANC), was condemned by President Ronald Reagan for engaging in "calculated terror." South Africa's apartheid regime declared the ANC a terrorist group, as did the Reagan administration.

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  • Q:

    How long was Nelson Mandela in prison?

    A:

    Nelson Mandela served a total of 27 years in prison, but his entire sentence was served in three different prisons. Mandela began serving his sentence in Robben Island before being transferred twice to both Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison.

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  • Q:

    What crime did Nelson Mandela commit?

    A:

    Nelson Mandela was found guilty of committing sabotage against South Africa's apartheid government. He was sentenced to life in prison for the crime.

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  • Q:

    Why was Nelson Mandela imprisoned for 27 years?

    A:

    Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years because he was found guilty of conspiracy and sabotage to overthrow the government of South Africa, together with other eight National African Congress Leaders. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964 and was released in 1990 after serving for 27 years in jail.

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