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What crime did Nelson Mandela commit?

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Quick Answer

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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Before his imprisonment, Nelson Mandela was the leader of the African National Congress. It was an organization that was dedicated to protesting the South African policy of apartheid. He was faced with treason charges in 1956, but was then acquitted. By 1961, Mandela believed that non-violent measures were no longer effective and he formed the Umkhonto we Sizwe, a militant wing of the African National Congress. He was arrested on August 5, 1962 and given five years in prison for inciting a workers' strike in 1961.

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