The day Nelson Mandela became president – level 3

10-05-1994

Nelson Mandela was born in times when the whites lived in prosperity in his country, while South African blacks lived in poverty. Both groups had their clearly defined rights and places where they could go. There were separated means of transport, restaurants, hospitals, and schools. The blacks had no right to vote.

Mandela joined a movement fighting for the interests of the blacks. The movement organized non-violent strikes and demonstrations of many thousands of people. Mandela became a leader and his goal was to end racial segregation.

Over time, Mandela realized that a non-violent path wouldn’t lead to any changes. Mandela joined fighters who attacked military targets and infrastructure. He was arrested and he got a life sentence for planning an armed revolution.

He was released after 27 years. He gave up armed actions and began negotiations with the president to establish democracy.

A democratic election was held in 1994, and on May 10, 1994, Mandela became president of South Africa.

Difficult words: means (a way of doing something), strike (a time when people don’t work because they want to change something), segregation (when people of different races are kept separate), path (a way), sentence (a punishment that a judge gives), election (a moment when people choose their government).

What do you think about this day?

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