Nelson Mandela Timeline 1940-1949

Nelson Mandela Timeline 1800-2013

Nelson Mandela Timeline 1940-1949

1940
Mandela is elected to the Student Representative Council (SRC) at Fort Hare. After becoming embroiled in general student dissatisfaction with boarding house food and a very low SRC poll, he follows his conscience and resigns. The head of the University gives him a choice: either he must accept the post or he must leave the university. He is given until the end of the university holidays to decide. Upon his return home, the regent orders him to return to university after the holiday break and take up his seat on the Council. However, Mandela feels there is a principle at stake and refuses to return under the conditions laid down by the rector. Like his late father, Mandela stands by his principles and refuses to bend to authority. This is a strong and recurring trait of his personality.
1941
The regent.informs Mandela and Justice that he has chosen brides for them and has made arrangements for them to be married. Both young men are unhappy about this, but keep their displeasure to themselves. They make plans to leave the region for Johannebsurg and steal a cow from the regents heard to raise funds for their trip. As they cannot leave the area without the permission of the magistrate, they lie to obtain a travel permit and set out for Johannesburg.
Upon their arrival in the industrial and commercial city, they find temporary accommodation at Crown Mines with an induna in the mine compound. Mandela is employed as a night watchman at the compound, but within a few days he and justice are fired when Dalinyebo contacts the Induna and demands that Mandela and Justice be sent back. They leave and find accommodation in 46 seventh avenue in Alexandra township. Mandela convinces the regent that he is going to study law and the regent agrees to support his studies. Late in 1941 the now frail Dalinyebo visits Mandela in Johannesburg. He does not reprimand him for his past disobedience and Mandela convinces his guardian that it is best for him to complete his law studies in Johannesburg.
That same year, Mandela is introduced to Albertina Totiwe a trainee nurse. She in turn introduces him to her boyfriend, a young business man and estate agent Walter Sisulu and the two men become acquaintances and soon friends.
1942
Mandela stays in "Dark City", the poorest section of Alexandra township named for its absence of electricity. He later says, "Alexandra occupies a treasured place in my heart. It was the first place I lived away from home." This broadens his perspective by exposure to Sotho-, Swazi-, Zulu-, etc. speaking people. Nelson Mandela completes a BA degree through correspondence.
1943
Nelson Mandela enrols at the University of the Witwatersrand Law Faculty. He meets students of all races and is exposed to liberal, radical and Africanist thought. He also experiences racism and discrimination. He spends six years at Wits, from 1943 -1948, but, owing to the dire circumstances under which he lives and studies, he leaves without completing his LLB degree.
Mandela meets Gaur Radebe at Walter Sisulu's house. He finds Radebe unscientific, but admires his enthusiasm and vigour. Radebe, one of organisers of the Alexandra Bus boycott, invites Mandela to join him to help the campaign against bus price increases. This is Mandela's first exposure to mass action.
Around the same time, Mandela begins attending a gathering of young intellectuals brought together by African National Congress president Dr Alfred B. Xuma in his effort to revitalise the ANC. Amongst them were Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, Anton Lembede, Lional Majombozi. Majombozi proposed that they form a youth league within the structures of the ANC.
1944
April, Nelson Mandela joins the African National Congress (ANC) and together with the group of young ANC intellectuals, forms the ANC Youth League (ANCYL). The League's founding meeting is held at the Bantu Men's Social Centre in Johannesburg. Sisulu's fiance Albertina is the only woman present. Anton Lembede is elected President and Nelson Mandela, Ashby P Mda, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu are elected to the Executive Committee. The league and adopts a constitution and issues a manifesto which rejects participation in advisory boards and the Native Representative Council. The Manifesto announcing a more militant stance than that of the League's parent body and advocates a staunchly African nationalist orientation.
Walter and Albertina Sisulu are married. Mandela is best man and his girlfriend Evelyn Mase, Walter's cousin, is bridesmaid. The Sisulu's home becomes a second home to Mandela.
15 July, Nelson Mandela marries Evelyn Mase, a nurse and a 'home girl'. The newly weds move to live with Evelyn's married sister and become neighbours with Esákia (Es'kia) Mphalele, a teacher and later a noted journalist, writer and activists.
1945
Evelyn Mandela gives birth to the couple's first child, a boy named Tembi. They are allocated a house in Orlando, No 8115. It has three rooms, with neither electricity nor inside toilet. Mandela's younger sister, Nomabandla (Leaby), comes to live with them and enrols at Orlando High School. Evelyn is the breadwinner in the family while Mandela studies law at the University of the Witwatersrand. He devotes more and more of his time to politics.
1947
Evelyn gives birth to a daughter, Makaziwe, but Makaziwe dies after 9 months, leaving the couple heart-broken.
July, ANCYL President Anton Lembede dies unexpectedly at the young age of 33. AP Mda succeeds him as league President, Oliver Tambo is elected Vice-President, and Mandela is elected Secretary General. At the end of 1947 Mandela is elected on to the Transvaal Provincial Executive of the ANC.
1948
Mandela meets A.C. Jordan, an academic much admired by Mandela's Tembu friends, and Isaac Tabata, founder of the Unity Movement. Mandela becomes National Secretary of the ANCYL. The Leagues decides to organise branches nationally and Mandela is responsible for organising one of the largest branches at Fort Hare University.
May, Mandela visits Cape Town for the first time and stays three months. He views the isolated prison of Robben Island from the vantage point of Table Mountain.
Mandela leaves university without completing his law degree.
26 May, The National Party (NP) contests white only national elections with a new policy called apartheid (literally apartness) and narrowly wins. Mandela is "stunned and dismayed" at the NP's victory.
1949
After receiving news about the illness of his mother from his eldest sister, Mandela arranges for her to come to Johannesburg to consult medical specialists. She gets on very well with her daughter-in-law, Evelyn, and stays on with them, becoming a great help.
December, At the ANC's annual conference, held that year in Bloemfontein, President-General Dr Xuma,is replaced by Dr J S Moroka. Walter Sisulu is elected ANC Secretary-General and Mandela and Tambo are elected to the ANC National Executive Committee. The conference adopts the ANCYL's Programme of Action, which calls for a militant, Africanist campaign against apartheid and white minority rule. The Bloemfontein conference is a watershed moment in the history of the ANC and the liberation struggle in South Africa.