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It is with deepest of sorrow, that we at Healthy Black Men say good-bye to former South African President and anti-apartheid revolutionary hero Nelson Mandela. Mr. Mandela died at his Johannesburg home today. He was 95.
The world leader, had returned home on September 1 in a critical condition after being in a Pretoria hospital for almost three months – the fourth time he had been admitted to hospital since December. He had battled a series of lung infections and respiratory illnesses in the past few years.
Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison after being found guilty of being sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow his country’s government before being released in 1990, became South Africa’s first democratically elected president, holding office from 1994 to 1999.
Mandela was one of the most revered leaders of the 20th century and his legacy will forever be the abolition of apartheid in South Africa.
The man endearingly known throughout South Africa as Madiba – his Xhosa clan name, which literally translates to grandfather – cemented his place in history when he became the first democratically elected president – black or white. As a founder of Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), which was the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), Mandela was a militant anti-apartheid activist from a young age.
He was sentenced to life in prison after being charged and convicted of sabotage in 1962.
Left to the mercy of the prison guards in a white supremacist South Africa, his release 27 years later in 1990 set in motion the cogs of an anti-apartheid movement that had the backing of much of the world.