Political Career
July 4
Meets then prime minister PW Botha at Tuynhuys in Cape Town.
August 21
The Organisation of African Unity signs the Harare Declaration which calls for the release of political prisoners and the unbanning of the ANC.
October 9
The government announces that it will release 8 prisoners.
Cabinet bosberaad is held at a game lodge to discuss the Harare Declaration and the release of Mandela.
February 2
New president FW de Klerk unbans all political parties and and orders the release of all political prisoners not guilty of violent crimes.
February 11
Released from prison after 27 years.
Travels to Lusaka to meet ANC's national executive committee and Sweden to meet ANC President Oliver Tambo. Cuts trip short in light of unrest in SA.
April 2
Elected deputy president of the ANC.
May 2
ANC and government teams meet at Groote Schuur. Mandela heads the ANC delegation.
Begins a six-week tour of Europe, the United Kingdom, North America and Africa. The warm reception confirms his reputation as a respected leader.
Attends the Organisation of African Unity summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but has to leave for Kenya when he contracts pneumonia.
Talks between the ANC and the government resume. In the same month Mandela visits Norway, followed by Zambia, India and Australia.
August 6
The Pretoria Minute is signed which proclaims that the ANC suspends all armed activity.
January 29
Meets Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, president of the Inkatha Freedom Party, In Durban for 8 hours and they agree to promote peace
Attends a meeting between the ANC and the PAC in Harare where they resolve to work together to oppose apartheid.
Elected ANC president and succeeds an ailing Oliver Tambo at the ANC' first national conference in 30 years inside the country.
Signs the National Peace Accord on behalf of the ANC to establish structures and procedures in an attempt to end widespread political violence.
A meeting of the Patriotic Front is held in Durban in an attempt to bring together all anti-apartheid groups in the country.
The first meeting of the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (Codesa), set up to negotiate procedures for constitutional change, is held.
Receives a joint award with FW de Klerk in Spain - the Prince of the Asturias Prize for International Cooperation.
Continues his programme of extensive international travel, visiting Tunisia, Libya and Morocco, among others.
April 13
Announces his seperation from second wife Winnie Mandela as a result of differences.
The second plenary meeting of Codesa is held, but the working group dealing with constitutional arrangements deadlocks.
ANC calls for a mass action campaign to put pressure on the South African government.
Addresses the United Nations Security Council in a bid to end the violence.
Indicates that he is prepared to meet FW de Klerk with conditions and they sign a record of understanding which enables negotiations to be resumed.
Following the assassination of SACP leader Chris Hani, Mandela calls for peace, but a militant crowd in Soweto boos him.
Causes a political row when he suggests that South Africa's voting age should be lowered to enable 14-year-old children to vote.
While on a visit to the United States, urges world business leaders to lift economic sanctions and to invest in South Africa.
Jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with former president FW de Klerk in Norway.
April 27
Votes for the first time in his life and runs for president in the country's first free elections where black South Africans are allowed to vote.
May 9
Elected unopposed as president of South Africa in the first session of the National Assembly.
May 10
Inaugurated as president. Appoints FW de Klerk as deputy president and forms a racially mixed government.
May 8
Establishes the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.
June 24
South Africa hosts and wins the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Mandela wears a Springbok shirt when he presents the trophy to captain Francois Pienaar.
Establishes the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to lift the lid on atrocities committed under the white minority regime.
Signs into law one of the world’s most pro-abortion laws, the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act.
March 19
Divorces second wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, after a long estrangement.
The Robben Island Museum is established as a national monument and museum.
June 9
Mandela's great-granddaughter Zenani is born (now deceased).
Meets the Spice Girls while they are in South Africa to perform at a charity concert.
July 18
Celebrates his 80th birthday by marrying his Mozambican sweetheart Graca Machel at a private ceremony at his home in Houghton.
Launches the world's biggest rural solar electricity project at a village in the Eastern Cape.