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PDF File Second Court Statement of Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela achieved global rec- ognition for his struggles against apartheid in South Africa, for his several-decades-long incarceration as a result, and for his election to the presidency in South Africa’s first all-race democractic election in 1994. He has been a political activist for nearly all of his adult life and was a central figure in the black South African fight against apartheid. In 1993, along with F. Willem De Klerk, Mandela was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in recognition of his long-stand- ing efforts to put an end to the oppression of the black South African people by helping to abolish apartheid.