Nelson Mandela's greatest achievements were that of turning around the African National Congress and winning the Nobel Peace prize for his fight to abolish the Apartheid system in South Africa.
The African National Congress was established in 1912, and in 1919 they organized their first public action, though unfortunately it resulted in the arrest of several hundred people. Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1944, at a time when the abolishment of the Apartheid was just talk. Also in 1944, in hopes to pull younger people into the African National Congress the ANC youth league was formed.
de Klerk unbanned a number of organisations including the ANC and the South Africa Communist Party in February of that year.
Nelson Mandela was released, and soon elected president of the ANC who four years later swept to power with a 63% majority in the first free elections.
Mandela was elected President of South Africa
Colonial South African Native National Congress (renamed the African National Congress in 1923). They hoped to fight racist laws by building solidarity among South Africa's diverse and sometimes warring African societies. Seme's speech to the founding convention, in which he addressed "chiefs of royal blood and gentlemen of our race," suggested the aristocratic nature of the group's original leadership. The ANC intially fought the color bar through legal and constitutional means, mostly petitions, speeches, and publicity drives. These efforts accomplished relatively little, but for several years the ANC membership resisted a more radical approach. In 1930 it expelled its president J. T. Gunmede because he advocated cooperation with the South African Communist Party. More an intellectual movement than a political or popular force, the ANC was almost completely inactive for the next decade.
During the 1940s, a period of unprecedented trade union activism in rapidly industrializing South Africa, the ANC was revived. Its new president, Dr. Alfred Xuma, worked with the Communist Party to draft a set of demands, including full political rights for Africans. He also organized protests against the hated pass laws, but his overall caution disappointed a new generation of activists. In 1943 young ANC members, including Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, and Anton Lembede, formed the ANC Congress Youth League (ANC-CYL). Their passion and political savvy drove the ANC for the next 50 years.
In 1949, a year after the newly elected National Party government began implementing its apartheid policies, the CYL took over the ANC leadership. Influenced by the principles of nonviolent action and passive resistance pioneered by Indian nationalist leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, in 1952 the ANC drafted the "Defiance Campaign against Unjust Laws." The campaign's strikes, boycotts, and other acts of civil disobedience did not result in any legislative reforms, but they did help swell ANC...