Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, 1918 – 2013

IntroductionNelson Mandela

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Nelson Mandela was the greatest statesman that Africa has produced. 

His reputation is based above all on the enormous dignity and magnanimity that he showed after he was released from prison, after 27 years behind bars, in 1990. He was able to reassure his countrymen and the wider world that looked on, entranced, there would be no race war in South Africa, as many people had feared. Among South Africans black and white, Mandela’s achievement endured throughout the years after he had stepped down as president in 1999, even though his dream of a rainbow nation began to look tattered.  Worldwide, Mandela has become a revered figure in the mode of Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

Yet the comparison with these other two political icons is misleading, as a major part of Mandela’s attraction to anti-apartheid activists in South Africa was his willingness to lead them in battle: he was the first commander of Umkhonto we Sizwe, a guerrilla organisation initiated by the South African Communist Party (SACP) and later adopted by the African National Congress (ANC) as its own.

Mandela’s career of militancy began early.  In 1944, when he was 26 years old, Mandela was one of the founders of the Youth League, which breathed new life into an ANC that many of his generation believed had become no more than a polite talking-shop.  The Youth League inspired the mass campaigns of protest against apartheid that were a feature of South African political life in the 1950s.  It was then that Mandela decided that armed resistance against South Africa’s apartheid government would one day become inevitable: this was a matter he discussed with his close friend, ANC secretary-general Walter Sisulu, who raised the question of support for an armed movement with Chinese Communist Party officials during a visit to Beijing in 1953.  Seven years later, after the killing of 69 protestors by police in Sharpeville, Mandela decided to put his plan into action.  When the ANC was banned by the government in April 1960, he joined the underground SACP, intending to enlist its experience and its international connections in the service of the armed organisation he intended to create. 

Although Mandela always denied ever having joined the SACP, the evidence is overwhelming that he did join, probably in 1960, and he appears to have been co-opted straight into the Party’s Central Committee.  With comrades from the Party, Mandela went on to organise Umkhonto we Sizwe.  However, during a subsequent tour of Africa to garner support for the armed struggle that he had initiated, numerous African leaders expressed their disapproval of the ANC’s alliance with the SACP.  As a result, Mandela was taking his distance from the Party when he was arrested by the South African police in 1962, most probably as a result of a tip off from a US intelligence officer. 

It was because of his unrepentant militancy that Mandela was never adopted as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.  But it was also his readiness to take up arms that made Mandela popular among younger generations of militants.  He developed an ability, unique in the ANC, to appeal to every section of a movement that was riven by competing factions.  Mandela was at once a fighter, a moderate and, by the time he was released from prison to lead his people in the transition from apartheid, a father-figure. 

Nelson Mandela seems set to be remembered for as long as history is written.  Yet the ANC that he led in the 1990s, and the country that he brought from the brink of full-scale war to respectability, has entered a period of turbulence that was hard to foresee on the day that Mandela – often known in South Africa as Madiba, by reference to his Xhosa clan name - was sworn in as the first post-apartheid president in 1994.  The ANC itself has become mired in corruption and even in violence, as rivals compete for official positions. The country’s president, Jacob Zuma, is unpopular, and widely criticised for his inactivity. 

At the end of the last century, it seemed as though Mandela would be remembered as the man who ushered South Africa to a brighter and a greater future.  It is now looking steadily more likely that he might be remembered as a flash of light in a history that remains, alas, one of grim struggle.

The Library, Documentation and Information Department of the African Studies centre has compiled this dossier on the occasion of Mandela’s death on 5 December 2013. It contains titles on and by Nelson Mandela from the library's online catalogue, including monographs, articles, and films. Each title links directly to the corresponding record in the online catalogue, which provides a more detailed description of all titles as well as abstracts of many articles and edited works. The dossier concludes with a selection of links to relevant web sites.

Publications about Nelson Mandela

Mandela & Mbeki : the hero and the outsider/ Lucky Mathebe. - Pretoria : Unisa Press, 2012

Schaduwboksen, Nelson Mandela fight!/ Erik Brouwer. - Naarden : Human Sources, 2011

The Madiba mindset : your own Freedom Charter/ Tyrrel Fairhead. - Auckland Park : Jacana Media, 2011

Ukutya Kwasekhaya : tastes from Nelson Mandela's kitchen/ Xoliswa Ndoyiya & Anna Trapido. - Johannesburg : Real African Publishers, 2011

Young Mandela/ David James Smith. - London : Phoenix, 2011

8115 : a prisoner's home/ Alf Kumalo & Zukiswa Wanner. - London : Michael Joseph, 2010

Invictus / Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, John Carlin, & others. - [Amsterdam] : Warner Home Video, 2010. - 1 dvd-video (ca. 128 min.). : kleur, geluid.

Nelson Mandela in een notendop: (bijna) alles wat je altijd wilde weten / Ineke van Kessel. - Amsterdam : Bert Bakker, 2010

Nelson Mandela ou la force de la conscience et de la liberté / Vincent K. Simédoh
In: Revue africaine: (2010), no. 4, p. cover Nelson Mandela in een notendop

Accused # 1 : Nelson Mandela / Pascale Lamche. - [S.l. : s.n.], 2009. - 1 dvd-video (ca. 65 min.). : kleur, zw/w en gel. - (VPRO's Import)

Archetypal hero or living saint? : the veneration of Nelson Mandela / Paul Maylam
In: Historia: (2009), vol. 54, no. 2, p. 21-36.

Bring me my machine gun : the battle for the soul of South Africa from Mandela to Zuma/ Alec Russell. - New York : PublicAffairs, 2009

Mandela, de levende legende / Dominic Allan. - [London : BBC], 2009. - 1 dvd-video (104 min.). : kleur, zw/w., gel.

Playing the enemy : Nelson Mandela and the game that made a nation/ John Carlin. - London : Atlantic Books, 2009

Sophiatown, blues voor Mandela / Pascale Lamche. - [S.l.] : VPRO, 2009. - 1 dvd-video (57 min.). : kleur, gel. - (De donderdag documentaire)

Strengths & convictions : the life and times of the South African Nobel Peace Prize laureates : Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, F.W. de Klerk, Nelson Mandela / Gavin Jantjes (ed.) / Nobel Peace Center, Oslo. - Oslo : Press Publishing in collab. with the Nobel Peace Center, 2009

From His Master's Voice and back again? : presidential inaugurations and South African television - the post-apartheid experience / Kristin S. Orgeret
In: African Affairs: (2008), vol. 107, no. 429, p. 611-629.

Hunger for freedom : the story of food in the life of Nelson Mandela/ Anna Trapido & Richard Goode. - Auckland Park : Jacana Media, 2008

Man of the people : a photographic tribute to Nelson Mandela/ Peter Magubane, Melanie Lawrence & others. - Northlands [etc.] : Pan Macmillan South Africa [etc.], 2008

Mandela : the man and his country / Morton Dean. - [S.l.] : MPI Home Video, 2008. - 1 dvd-video (50 min.). : kleur, gel.

Mandela and De Klerk / Joseph Sargent. - [S.l.] : RCV, 2008. - 1 dvd-video (110 min.). : kleur, gel.

Nelson Mandela : a biography/ Peter Limb. - Westport, CT : Greenwood Press, 2008. - (Greenwood biographies, ISSN 1540-4900)

Nelson Mandela : symbool voor vrijheid en verbroedering/ Jos Damen. - Lelystad : IVIO-Uitgeverij, 2008. - (AO ; 2910)

Nelson Mandela : the authorised comic book/ Umlando Wezithombe / Nelson Mandela Foundation. - Johannesburg [etc.] : Jonathan Ball, 2008

The long walk of Nelson Mandela / David Fanning & Indra de Lanerolle. - [S.l.] : UnaPix Entertainment, 2008. - 1 dvd-video (120 min.). : kleur, gel.

Voor Nelson Mandela : verhalen en voetnoten uit Nederland bij zijn negentigste verjaardag / Bart Luirink (ed.). - Amsterdam : Mets & Schilt, 2008

Biografie in die pryslied: die bydrae van Antjie Krog naas twee Xhosa-pryssangers / Jacomien Van Niekerk
In: Tydskrif vir Letterkunde: (2007), jg. 44, nr. 2, p. 29-45.

book cover Mandela a critical lifeThe State vs. Nelson Mandela : the trial that changed South Africa/ Joel Joffe. - Oxford : Oneworld, 2007

Mandela : a critical life/ Tom Lodge. - Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2006

Mandela : the authorised portrait / Kate Parkin (ed.). - London : Bloomsbury Publ. in assoc. with PQ Blackwell, 2006

President in waiting/ Santa Buchanan, Sahm Venter, Pitshou Mampa & Pascal Nzoni. - [S.l.] : Umlando Wezithombe Publishing, 2006. - (The Madiba legacy series ; 7)

Soldiering on: the post-presidential years of Nelson Mandela 1999-2005/ John Daniel
In: Legacies of power : leadership change and former presidents in African politics / Roger Southall and Henning Melber.- Uppsala [etc.] : Nordiska Afrikainstitutet [etc.]: (2006), p.26-50 : tab.

The meaning of Mandela : a literary and intellectual celebration / Xolela Mangcu (ed.). - Cape Town : HSRC Press, 2006

The presidencies of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki compared : implications for the consolidation of democracy in South Africa / W. J. Breytenbach
In: Africa Insight: (2006), vol. 36, no. 3/4, p. 173-185.

"I speak to you and I listen to the voice coming back" : recording solitary confinement in the apartheid prison / Daniel Roux
In: The English Academy Review: (2005), vol. 22, p. 22-31.

A prisoner in the garden : opening Nelson Mandela's prison archive/ Carolyn Hamilton & others. - Johannesburg [etc.] : Penguin Books (South Africa), 2005

A son of the Eastern Cape/ Pitshou Mampa & Sivuyile Matwa. - [S.l.] : Umlando Wezithombe Publishing, 2005. - (The Madiba legacy series ; [1])

We shall not fail : values in the national leadership of Seretse Khama, Nelson Mandela and Julius Nyerere/ Dickson A. Mungazi. - Trenton, NJ [etc.] : Africa World [etc.], 2005

Mandela's world : the international dimension of South Africa's political revolution 1990-99/ James P. Barber. - Oxford : James Currey, 2004

book cover Mandela's worldMandela, Mobutu, and me : a newswoman's African journey / Lynne Duke. - New York [etc.] : Doubleday, 2003

Management after magic : a discussion and comparison between the leadership styles of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki / Cornelia Stols
In: Africa Insight: (2002), vol. 32, no. 2, p. 32-38 : ill. , foto's.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela / Gertjan Doeleman, Anton Dekker, & Kier Schuringa (ed.). - Amsterdam : Nederlands Instituut voor Zuidelijk Afrika, 2002. - (BIDOC-dossier, ISSN 1574-860X ; 3)

Politics in South Africa : from Mandela to Mbeki/ Tom Lodge. - Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 2002

Pulpit morality or penny-pinching diplomacy?: the discursive debate on Mandela's foreign policy / Brendan Vickers
In: Politeia: (2002), vol. 21, no. 2, p. 80-100.

The saint of the struggle: deconstructing the Mandela myth / Noel Solani
In: Kronos: (2000), no. 26, p. 42-55.

Mandela : a life in cartoons / Harry Dugmore, Stephen Francis, & Rico Schacherl (ed.). - Claremont [etc.] : David Philip [etc.], 1999

Mandela : the authorised biography/ Anthony Sampson. - New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1999

Nelson Mandela : a biography/ Martin Meredith. - New York : St.Martin's Press, 1998

What a gentleman/ Dianne Case & Jo Harvey. - Cape Town : Kwagga, 1997

Nelson Mandela : le dernier titan/ Alfred Bosch. - Paris [etc.] : L'Harmattan, 1996. - (Études africaines)

Opposition in South Africa : the leadership of Z.K. Matthews, Nelson Mandela, and Stephen Biko/ Tim J. Juckes. - Westport, Conn : Praeger, 1995

Speeches and pictures : the State visit to Lesotho by President Nelson R. Mandela of the Republic of South Africa July 12-13, 1995 / Mike Mokomeng (ed.) / Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (Lesotho). - Maseru : Department of Information, 1995

Chained together : Mandela, de Klerk, and the struggle to remake South Africa/ David Ottaway. - New York [etc.] : Times Books, 1993

Mandela, Tambo, and the African National Congress : the struggle against apartheid, 1948-1990 : a documentary survey / Sheridan Johns & R. Hunt Davis Jr. (ed.). - New York ; Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1991

Nelson Mandela and the rise of the ANC / Jürgen Schadeberg (ed.). - Parklands : Jonathan Ball [etc.], 1990

Wij denken niet in kleur : het Zuid-Afrika van Nelson Mandela/ Daniel Koning. - Amsterdam : Rap, 1990

Nelson Mandelamandla / Amelia Blossom House & Cosmo Pieterse (ed.). - Washington, DC : Three Continents Press, 1989

The world that was ours : the story of the Rivonia Trial/ Hilda Bernstein. - London : SAWriters, 1989

Higher than hope, Mandela : the biography of Nelson Mandela/ Fatima Meer. - Durban : Institute for Black Research [etc.], 1988

Nelson Mandela/ Mary Benson. - Harmondsworth : Penguin, 1986

A healthy grave/ James Kantor. - London : 1967

On trial for their lives : the accused at Rivonia/ M. Benson. - London : Africa Bureau, 1964

Rivonia : operation Mayibuye : a review of the Rivonia trial/ H. H. W. De Villiers. - Johannesburg : Afrikaanse Pers Boekhandel, 1964

Publications on Robben Island

Reading revolution : Shakespeare on Robben Island/ Ashwin Desai. - Pretoria : Unisa Press, 2012

Back home : roots of a new South Africa : a documentary film / Marc Köbler. - Köln : Crew 4 You TV, 2008. - 1 dvd-video (115 min.). : kleur, gel.

Memories of a political prisoner on Robben Island, 1987-1991 / Cecyl Esau
In: Kronos: (2008), no. 34, p. 41-65 : foto's.

Voices from Robben Island / Jürgen Schadeberg, Claudia Schadeberg, & Adam Low. - [S.l.] : Schadeberg Movie Company and BBC television, 2008. - 1 dvd-video (90 min.). : kleur, gel.

A second life : museums, mimesis, and the narratives of the tour guides of Robben Island/ Harry Garuba
In: Desire lines : space, memory and identity in the post-apartheid city / Noëleen Murray, Nick Shepherd and Martin Hall.- London [etc.] : Routledge: (2007), p.129-144 : foto.

A free mind : Ahmed Kathrada's notebook from Robben Island / Sahm Venter (ed.). - Johannesburg : Jacana, 2005

Africanizing 'Antigone': postcolonial discourse and strategies of indigenizing a Western classic / Wumi Raji
book cover Robben Island and prisoner resistance to apapeidIn: Research in African Literatures: (2005), vol. 36, no. 4, p. 135-154.

Robben Island and prisoner resistance to apartheid/ Fran Lisa Buntman. - New York, NY [etc.] : Cambridge University Press, 2003

Reflections in prison : voices from the South African liberation struggle / Mac Maharaj (ed.). - Amherst, MA [etc.] : University of Massachusetts Press, 2002

Allegories of space: the question of Robben Island/ Helen Kapstein
In: Spaces and crossings : essays on literature and culture in Africa and beyond / Rita Wilson, Carlotta von Maltzan, eds.- Frankfurt am Main [etc.] : Peter Lang: (2001), p.319-333.

Categorical and strategic resistance and the making of political prisoner identity in apartheid's Robben Island prison/ Fran Lisa Buntman
In: Social identities in the new South Africa / ed.Abebe Zegeye.- Cape Town [etc.] : Kwela Books [etc.]: (cop.2001), p.153-179.

Behind telling: post-apartheid representations of Robben Island's past / Veronique Riouful
In: Kronos: (2000), no. 26, p. 22-41.

Time stretching fear : the detention and solitary confinement of 14 anti-apartheid trialists 1987-1991/ Else Schreiner. - Waterfront : Robben Island Museum, 2000

Letters from Robben Island : a selection of Ahmed Kathrada's prison correspondence, 1964-1989 / Robert D. Vassen (ed.). - Bellville : Mayibuye Centre, 1999. - (Mayibuye history and literature series ; 92)

Dennis Brutus : a voice from Robben Island / Rose Folli
In: Journal of Oriental and African Studies: (1996), vol. 8, p. 161-172.

Robben Island : symbol of resistance/ Barbara Hutton / Josie Egan (ed.). - Johannesburg [etc.] : SACHED Books [etc.], 1994. - (Mayibuye history and literature series ; no. 51)

Robben Island Prison dossier 1964-1974/ Neville Alexander. - Rondebosch : University of Cape Town, 1994

Voices from Robben Island/ Jürgen Schadeberg. - Randburg : Ravan Press, 1994

Autobiography and the 'power of writing' : political prison writing in the apartheid era / Paul Gready
In: Journal of Southern African Studies: (1993), vol. 19, no. 3, p. 489-523.

Narrating the Island : Robben Island in South African literature / J. U. Jacobs
In: Current Writing: (1992), vol. 4, no. 1, p. 73-84.

Robben Island/ Neville Alexander & others
In: All, here, and now : black politics in South Africa in the 1980s / Tom Lodge ...[et al.].- London : Hurst & Company: (1992), p.287-311 : foto.

Learning from Robben Island : the prison writings of Govan Mbeki/ Govan Mbeki. - London : Currey, 1991. - (UWC Mayibuye history series ; no. 1)

My fight against apartheid/ Michael Dingake. - London : Kliptown Books, 1987

Hell-hole, Robben Island : reminiscences of a political prisoner in South Africa/ Prisoner 872/63 Moses Dlamini. - Trenton, N.J. : Africa World Press, 1984

Island in chains : ten years on Robben Island/ Prisoner 885/63 Indres Naidoo. - Harmondsworth [etc.] : Penguin, 1982

Robben Island/ D. M. Zwelonke. - London [etc.] : Heinemann, 1973. - (African writers series, ISSN 0065-4108 ; 128)

Letters to Martha : and other poems from a South African prison/ Dennis Brutus. - London [etc.] : Heinemann, 1968. - (African writers series ; 46)

Publications by Nelson Mandela

Conversations with myself/ Nelson Mandela. - London [etc.] : Macmillan, 2010

Nelson Mandela in his own words : from freedom to the future : tributes and speeches / Kader Asmal, David Chidester, & Wilmot Godfrey James (ed.). - London : Abacus, 2004

Robben Island : the reunion/ Nelson Mandela & Mxolisi Mgxashe. - Bellville : Mayibuye Books, University of the Western Cape, 1996. - (Mayibuye history and literature series ; no. 66)

South Africa's evolving foreign policy : speeches in the South African parliament : treaties and agreements/ Nelson Mandela & Alfred Nzo. - Bellville : Centre for Southern African Studies, University of the Western Cape, 1995. - (Backgrounder ; 14)

book cover Long walk to freedomLong walk to freedom : the autobiography of Nelson Mandela/ Nelson Mandela. - Boston [etc.] : Little, Brown and Company, 1994

Statement of the president of the African National Congress Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela at his inauguration as president of the Democratic Republic of South Africa Union Buildings, Pretoria 10 May 1994/ Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. - Pretoria : South African Communication Service, 1994

Nelson Mandela speaks : forging a democratic, nonracial South Africa / Steve Clark (ed.). - New York [etc.] : Pathfinder, 1993

'Intensify the struggle to abolish apartheid' : speeches 1990/ Nelson Mandela / Greg MacCartan (ed.). - New York, N.Y. : Pathfinder, 1990

Nelson Mandela : symbol of resistance and hope for a free South Africa : selected speeches since his release / E. S. Reddy (ed.). - New Delhi : Sterling Publishers [etc.], 1990

Speech delivered by ANC Deputy Chairman, Dr. Nelson Mandela, on his release, Cape Town, 11 February 1990 / N. Mandela
In: Southern Africa Record: (1990), no. 58, p. 82-85.

The struggle is my life : his speeches and writings brought together with historical documents and accounts of Mandela in prison by fellow-prisoners/ Nelson Mandela. - London : IDAF Publications, 1990

Zuid-Afrika behoort aan allen die er wonen/ Nelson Mandela / Rudi Boon (ed.). - Amsterdam : Mets, 1988

I have done my duty to my People and to South Africa : statement from the dock, 7 November 1962/ Nelson Mandela. - New York : United Nations Centre against Apartheid, 1982

Freedom, justice and dignity for all in South Africa : statements and articles by Mr. Nelson Mandela, President of the African National Congress of South Africa/ Nelson Mandela. - [New York : United Nations, Centre against Apartheid, Department of Political and Security Council Affairs], 1978

The struggle is my life : his speeches and writings brought together to mark his 60th birthday : also included are historical documents and a recent account of conditions on Robben Island/ Nelson Mandela. - London : International Defence and Aid Fund for Southern Africa, 1978

Hérauts de la liberté : sous le règne de l'apartheid/ N. Mandela, A. Fischer & Toivo Hermann Ja Toivo. - Genève : Mouvement Anti-Apartheid de Suisse, 1972

Nelson Mandela speaks : speeches, statements, and articles/ Nelson Mandela. - London : Publicity and Information Bureau, African National Congress, 1970. - (South African studies ; 4)

No easy walk to freedom : articles, speeches and trial addresses of Nelson Mandela/ Nelson Mandela / Ruth First (ed.). - London [etc.] : Heinemann, 1965

We accuse : the trial of Nelson Mandela/ Nelson Mandela. - London : National Congress, 1963

Selected web resources

The ASC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

DISA (Digital Innovation South Africa)
A freely accessible online scholarly resource focusing on the socio-political history of South Africa, particularly the struggle for freedom during the period from 1950 to the first democratic elections in 1994.

Nelson Mandela
Biography of Mandela, including many references to online resources

Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory contributes to a just society by providing an integrated public information resource on his life and times, by convening dialogue around critical social issues and by keeping alive the legacy of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela and the Netherlands
This web dossier, which focuses on links between Nelson Mandela and the Netherlands, was originally published in Dutch by the Amsterdam-based Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa (NiZA, now Niza/ActionAid) in 2006. The dossier was revised and updated and a number of sections in English were added in 2011 after the transfer of the NiZA historical collection to the International Institute of Social History in 2008.