Select and explain the most important turning points in Nelson Mandela’s life

Table of Content

A turning point is a significant and transformative moment in someone’s life.

Nelson Mandela, a significant figure in South Africa’s recent history, experienced several crucial turning points that have profound implications for the nation and its history. This essay will analyze these pivotal moments – the Sharpeville Massacre and its impact on Mandela, the Rivonia trials, negotiations for his release from prison, CODESA negotiations, and the 1994 elections leading to his presidency. Additionally, I will delve into other transformative events in Mandela’s life such as his arrival in Johannesburg in 1941 when he witnessed stark racial disparities between Black and White individuals.

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

Mandela, feeling greatly shocked and determined to take action, meets with Walter Susilo and Oliver Tambo. He also joins the ANC alongside Anton Labede, which proves to be a significant turning point in his life. Additionally, they establish the youth league and revitalize the ANC.

Mandela’s rise as a political figure began when he assumed leadership of the youth club in the ANC, gaining recognition from the people. This pivotal moment marked the start of individuals forming their opinions about him. Yet, one critical turning point in Mandela’s life emerged following the Sharpeville Massacre, in which he reevaluated his stance on violence.

Before the incidents at Sharpeville, Mandela supported non-violent methods to oppose apartheid. However, his perspective changed after the events at Sharpeville and he began advocating for violence. The accounts of the events in Sharpeville differed greatly, making it challenging to determine what actually happened. Nevertheless, one thing was clear – law enforcement in Sharpeville shot at the crowd, causing many injuries. Despite the protestors’ assertion that their protest was peaceful and non-violent, the police unexpectedly resorted to using weapons against them.

The police objected, stating that the crowd was violent, resulting in their decision to open fire. Mandela believed that his people were innocent and that the police fired without cause. He felt frustration toward the government for not taking action against the police. He realized that nonviolent actions would go unnoticed, leading him to convince other ANC leaders to support his pursuit of violence.

He established a new organization named “spear of the people” with the purpose of sabotaging government property, which marked a significant shift in his beliefs from nonviolence to violence.

Even though he faced initial setbacks, Mandela’s relentless campaigning put significant pressure on the government and brought attention to the cause. The resulting violence triggered other significant events. Mandela’s decision to embark on a new path marked a pivotal moment for both himself and the nation. Another crucial turning point in his life was his imprisonment following the Rivonia trial.

A significant turning point in Mandela’s life occurs when he is arrested and given a life sentence. Despite seeming like a defeat, his arrest and subsequent trials at Rivonia ultimately prove victorious. Mandela steadfastly refuses to abandon his beliefs, and his powerful closing speech convinces others of his unwavering conviction. He passionately speaks of the kind of South Africa he was willing to die for, a nation where individuals of all races are equal.

Despite his imprisonment on Robben Island, Nelson Mandela’s fame and the awareness of his cause continued to rise. Furthermore, his influential book impacted numerous individuals. Mandela’s name subsequently became a powerful emblem of opposition against Apartheid, not only in South Africa, but also across other nations.

His popularity marked a crucial moment in his life as it enabled him to garner the backing of Africans and individuals worldwide. Mandela’s popularity compelled the government to free him from incarceration, albeit on the condition that he renounced politics. Yet, he steadfastly refused to compromise his principles and insisted on the legalization of the ANC, which had been outlawed. Mandela engaged in negotiations with the two presidents P.

Botha and De Klerk implemented a decision made by the government in response to the influence of the African public.

After serving a 26-year prison sentence, Mandela was freed in February 1990 and became Deputy President of the ANC. Over time, he took charge of the organization and by 1991, he had the power to lead negotiations with the government, effectively working towards his goal of ending Apartheid.

Two major events in Mandela’s life, the CODESA negotiations and the 1994 elections, ultimately resulted in his presidency of South Africa. The CODESA negotiations were challenging talks between opposition parties and the government that took place amidst a backdrop of violence. As the leader of the ANC, Mandela was dedicated to ensuring equal voting rights for all in a free and democratic South Africa. Occasionally, the ANC had to leave as a way to pressure the government into reconsidering their stance; nevertheless, they ultimately succeeded in achieving their goals.

In November 1993, the government decided to hold its first free democratic elections on April 27, 1994. Mandela’s determined attitude gained respect from different groups and led to a decisive victory for the ANC, making him president. As president, Mandela chose not to respond with hostility or bitterness and rejected the use of violence as a form of revenge.

Instead, he set new goals focused on promoting reconciliation among racially diverse communities and guaranteeing universal equality.

Black and White South Africans were united under Nelson Mandela’s presidency, a leader whom they deeply admired, after his victory. This momentous event symbolized the initial move towards resolving the historical problems of South Africa. Mandela’s journey to eliminate Apartheid in the nation was characterized by significant milestones that played a crucial role in achieving this goal.

The pivotal moment in Nelson Mandela’s journey was his presidency, which guaranteed his triumph and signaled the conclusion of Apartheid. Nevertheless, it is crucial to acknowledge that Mandela’s capacity to mobilize public backing would have been unattainable without other notable milestones.

Cite this page

Select and explain the most important turning points in Nelson Mandela’s life. (2017, Nov 12). Retrieved from

Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront