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Timeline of the Life and Legacy of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

It is inevitable that different aspects of the life of Mandela will be emphasised for various reasons by different people and organisations. Equally it is inevitable that aspects of his legacy will be contested.

Developing an understanding of all aspects of his life, not just his twilight years will help to understand a key question: how did a young child, born in a remote rural part of the Eastern Cape go on to become the greatest statesman of the twentieth century and a world icon?

The following timeline of the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela - in his own words – has been compiled around the salient features or milestones of his life to begin a conversation on what it means to have a university named after the greatest statesman of the twentieth century.

All references are to N.R. Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela (Macdonald Purnell, Randburg, 1994).