OctoberCharged with sabotage with nine others in what becomes known as the Rivonia Trial.
June 12Sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to Robben Island to serve his sentence with seven others.
His mother dies but he is not allowed to attend her funeral.
His eldest son, Thembekile, is killed in a car accident and he is not allowed to attend a family member's funeral again.
June 16Soweto Uprising: Over 600 students killed in student protests.
September 12Anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko is killed while in police custody.
The exiled Oliver Tambo launches an international campaign for the release of his friend Mandela.
MarchSent to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town.
February 10Rejects South African President PW Botha’s offer to release him and other political prisoners if he renounces violence.
November 4Undergoes surgery on his prostate gland. Visited in hospital by Justice Minister Kobie Coetsee.
Sanctions against South Africa tighten, costing the government millions in revenue.
OctoberPrime Minister Margaret Thatcher calls the ANC a terrorist organisation at the Commonwealth Summit in Vancouver.
NovemberA group of Afrikaner intellectuals meet ANC leaders in England.
Youths burn down Mandela House in Orlando West and the community helps rebuild it.
February 24The United Democratic Front (UDF) and 17 other organisations are banned.
June 11The BBC televises a birthday tribute concert held at Wembley Stadium for Mandela. A smuggled message is read to 200-million viewers.
July 18The world commemorates Mandela's 70th birthday.
August 12Treated for tuberculosis at Tygerberg Hospital for six weeks. He is visited by Winnie Mandela and moved to a private clinic.
December 9Moved to Victor Verster Prison where he is given a large warder's house to live in. Various restrictions are lifted and people are able to visit him.