Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (born 18 July 1918 who now has sadly died ) is a former President of South Africa, and the first to be elected in a properly democratic elections, in which all people of all races could vote. He was a social democrat or democratic socialist.
After the election of the apartheid national party in 1948, Mandela was prominent in the ANC's 1952 Defiance Campaign and the 1955 Congress of the People, whose adoption of the Freedom Charter provided the fundamental program of the anti-apartheid cause.
In 1961, Mandela became the leader of the ANC's armed wing, 'Spear of the Nation', which he co-founded. He coordinated a sabotage campaign against military and government targets, and made plans for a possible guerrilla war if sabotage failed to end apartheid. Mandela also raised funds for MK abroad, and arranged for paramilitary training, visiting various African governments. He was arrested in 1962 and sent to prison, where he remained for 38 years. MK did wage a guerrilla war against the regime, especially during the 1980s, in which many civilians were killed. We will never agree what is freedom fighting and what is terrorism. South Africa under Apartheid was an oppressive country and Mandela has world wide respect despite or because of the armed struggle against apartheid.