Nelson Mandela to be arrested on number of occasions and also stood trial 4 times. He invested over 27 year in prison. Ours archivists and researchers have assembled dates and also locations of transfers and also time invested in confinement.

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Prison numbers

19476/62 – Pretoria local Prison 7 November 196211657/63 – Pretoria regional Prison1963, when he went back to Pretoria ~ a quick spell ~ above Robben Island466/64 – Robben Island June 1964220/82 – Pollsmoor prison March 19821335/88 – Victor Verster Prison7 December 1988

Trials and also prisons chronology

2 December 1952

Nelson Mandela is charged, with 19 others, including Walter Sisulu, for violating the Suppression of communism Act. They are convicted and also sentenced to nine months" tough labour, suspended for two years.

21 march 1960

Sixty-nine calm protesters are eliminated by police in ~ Sharpeville. Top top 30 march Mandela is just one of thousands detained under a state the emergency.

8 April 1960

The apartheid routine bans the African national Congress (ANC) and the Pan Africanist conference (PAC).

29 in march 1961

After a four-and-a-half-year trial, wherein he and scores the other world were charged with high treason, Mandela and also the critical 27 continuing to be accused are acquitted. He goes underground.

11 January 1962

Mandela leaves the nation for military training, and to gather support for the newly formed equipped wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation).


Nelson Mandela was recognized as the black Pimpernel when he went secret in 1961.

(Image: Courtesy that Azher Saloojee)

23 July 1962

Mandela returns to southern Africa via Botswana.

5 respectable 1962

He is arrested at a roadblock close to Howick, KwaZulu-Natal.

“ I have fought versus white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have actually cherished the ideal of a autonomous and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with same opportunities. That is an ideal which ns hope come live for and to achieve. But if requirements be, it is suitable for which i am prepared to die. ”Nelson Mandela, decided from the Dock, 20 April 1964

7 November 1962

He is sentenced to 5 years in prison, for incitement and leaving the country illegally. He begins serving his sentence at Pretoria local Prison and also is assigned the prisoner number 19476/62.

27 might 1963

Transferred to Robben Island Prison.

12 June 1963

Transferred come Pretoria neighborhood Prison.

9 October 1963

Appears, because that the very first time, v 10 rather in the palace of righteousness in Pretoria. They become the accused in the Rivonia Trial. The case is remanded to 29 October.


Nelson MandelaWalter SisuluGovan MbekiAhmed KathradaRaymond MhlabaDenis GoldbergElias MotsoalediRusty BernsteinBob HeppleAndrew MlangeniJames Kantor

A paper from the Rivonia Trial the forms part of Ahmed Kathrada’s archival products at the Robben Island Museum Mayibuye Archives.

29 October 1963

The defence applies for the curly of the indictment, i beg your pardon alleges 199 acts of sabotage.

30 October 1963

Prosecutor Percy Yutar announces that Bob Hepple is to become a state witness. That is released and skips the country. The indictment versus the 10 rather is quashed. They are immediately rearrested.

1 November 1963

Justice Quartus de Wet refuses bail to Kantor and Bernstein. The instance is remanded to 12 November.

12 November 1963

Yutar presents a new indictment separating the sabotage charges right into two parts. The instance is remanded come 25 November.

25 November 1963

The 199 alleged plot of sabotage are decreased to 193. The defence applies to have the new indictment quashed.

26 November 1963

Justice De Wet dismisses the application to have the indictment quashed.

27 November 1963

The trial is remanded come 3 December, after Kantor’s brand-new defence requests time come prepare.

“ actual leaders need to be prepared to sacrifice every for the liberty of their people. ”Nelson Mandela, 25 April 1998

3 December 1963

The 10 accused plead not guilty come sabotage in the Rivonia Trial.

4 march 1964

Kantor is discharged and also released.

20 April 1964

Mandela renders his well known "Speech indigenous the Dock", in i beg your pardon he says he is "prepared come die" for a autonomous South Africa.

11 June 1964

All, other than Bernstein, are convicted of sabotage.

12 June 1964

Mandela and also seven others are sentenced come life imprisonment.

12 June 1964

All except Goldberg are sent out to Robben Island to serve their sentences. Goldberg, as the only white person convicted in the trial, is organized in Pretoria central Prison. Mandela is assigned the prisoner number 466/64.


24 September 1968

Mandela’s mother, Nosekeni dies. The is forbidden indigenous attending she funeral.

13 July 1969

Mandela’s eldest son, Thembekile, is eliminated in a auto accident. Mandela is forbidden from attending his son"s funeral.

31 march 1982

Mandela, Sisulu, Mhlaba and Mlangeni, and later Kathrada, room transferred come Pollsmoor Prison. Mandela is assigned the sinner number 220/82.

10 February 1985

Rejects chairman PW Botha"s uses to relax him and also other political prisoners if they renounce violence.

28 February 1985

Goldberg, who has actually been hosted apart from his comrades for more than 20 years, accepts the offer and is released.

3 November 1985

Mandela admitted to the Volks Hospital in Cape city for prostate surgery.

23 November 1985

Is discharged native the Volks Hospital and held in a cabinet alone in ~ Pollsmoor Prison, from where he starts communicating with the government around eventual talks v the ANC.

16 may 1986

Meets with an Eminent Persons team from the republic Group that Nations.

20 July 1986

Holds his an initial meeting v Justice Minister Kobie Coetsee about talks in between the government and also the ANC.

5 November 1987

Govan Mbeki is exit from Robben Island.

12 respectable 1988

Mandela admitted to Tygerberg Hospital, wherein he is diagnosed v tuberculosis.

31 respectable 1988

Transferred come Constantiaberg Mediclinic to proceed his treatment.

7 December 1988

Is moved to Victor Verster Prison close to Paarl, wherein he is hosted in the house formerly occupied by a warder. Mandela is assigned the prisoner number 1335/88.


5 July 1989

Meets PW Botha in his office in Cape Town.

15 October 1989

Sisulu, Kathrada, Motsoaledi, Mlangeni and Mhlaba are released, together with Oscar Mpetha and PAC sinner Jeff Masemola.

13 December 1989

Meets chairman FW de Klerk at his office in Cape Town.

2 February 1990

At the opened of Parliament, De Klerk announces the unbanning of all political organisations, consisting of the ANC.

10 February 1990

Meets De Klerk, who states he will certainly be exit the next day in Johannesburg. Mandela objects, saying he desires to walk with the gateways of Victor Verster Prison, and asks for 2 weeks because that the ANC to prepare. De Klerk refuses the extension but agrees to relax him indigenous Victor Verster.

10 February 1990

De Klerk announces in ~ a push conference that Mandela will certainly be released the following day.

11 February 1990

Mandela is released from Victor Verster Prison.

11 February 1990

He addresses hundreds of well-wishers gathered ~ above the cool Parade, from the balcony of the City Hall, in Cape Town. Safety the night in ~ Bishopscourt, the main residence that the Anglican Archbishop that Cape Town.

12 February 1990

Holds a press conference in the garden of Bishopscourt. Flies to Johannesburg.

12 February 1990

Spends the night in north Riding, at the house of a supporter, Sally Rowney.

13 February 1990

Flies to FNB stadium in Soweto for a welcome residence rally.

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13 February 1990

Spends his very first night in years at his family home, 8115 Orlando West, Soweto.