Q:

Why was Nelson Mandela imprisoned for 27 years?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

Continue Reading
Why was Nelson Mandela imprisoned for 27 years?
Credit: Getty Images Europe Getty Images News Getty Images

Full Answer

Nelson Mandela and the other eight prisoners passed through a hard life in prison whereby they were given little food and were completely isolated. They were also assigned a strenuous job of pounding rocks into gravel. However, while in prison, Nelson Mandela and his colleagues formed a group that helped them to remain focused and survive in such harsh and oppressive circumstances.

In 1982, Nelson Mandela was transferred to the maximum security Pollsmoor prison, which is where it is believed that he contracted tuberculosis. After being diagnosed with tuberculosis, Mandela suffered respiratory ailments until his death. At the age of 71, and after serving a jail term of 27 years, he was released in 1990 with the help of an international movement.

During the reign of the South African president F.W. de Klerk, Mandela helped in negotiating the end of the apartheid. In 1993, he won the Nobel Peace Prize, and in 1994, his party won the multi-racial democratic elections. Mandela became the president of South Africa, but only served for one term from 1994 to 1999.

Learn more about Social Sciences

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How many years was Nelson Mandela imprisoned?

    A:

    Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years, 18 of which were spent at the infamously cruel Robben Island Prison in South Africa, where he was held from 1964 - 1982. Mandela was released from imprisonment in 1990 despite having initially been handed a life sentence. At the time of his imprisonment, South Africa was ruled by the white supremacist system of apartheid, in which native black Africans were officially considered inferior in every way to colonial European citizens, also known as Afrikaners. Mandela was an anti-apartheid revolutionary who eventually became the first president of South Africa, and he was initially imprisoned on charges of incitement before being charged with conspiracy to overthrow the state in what is known as the Rivonia Trial.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who was Nelson Mandela, and what did he do?

    A:

    Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) was a president of South Africa and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. In South Africa, he is often called "Madiba," which was the name of the clan he was born into.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What did Nelson Mandela accomplish?

    A:

    Nelson Mandela, arguably one of the great leaders of the 20th century, served as president of South Africa, was a notable writer, accomplished lawyer and a civil rights activist. Mandela was born in Mveso, South Africa, on July 18, 1918. He spent his childhood in South Africa, then left to pursue an education in the United States before returning to his home country to assume the role of president in 1994.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is Nelson Mandela famous?

    A:

    Nelson Mandela is best known as South Africa's first elected president as well as for winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. Prior to this, he was actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement and was incarcerated by the South African government for 27 years.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore