Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (xoˈliːɬaɬa manˈdeːla; born 18 July 1918) served as President of South Africa
President of South Africa
The President of the Republic of South Africa is the head of state and head of government under South Africa's Constitution. From 1961 to 1994, the head of state was called the State President....

 from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

 democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe
Umkhonto we Sizwe
Umkhonto we Sizwe , translated "Spear of the Nation," was the armed wing of the African National Congress which fought against the South African apartheid government. MK launched its first guerrilla attacks against government installations on 16 December 1961...

, the armed wing of the African National Congress
African National Congress
The African National Congress is South Africa's governing Africanist political party, supported by its tripartite alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party , since the establishment of non-racial democracy in April 1994. It defines itself as a...

 (ANC). In 1962 he was arrested and convicted of sabotage
Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening another entity through subversion, obstruction, disruption, or destruction. In a workplace setting, sabotage is the conscious withdrawal of efficiency generally directed at causing some change in workplace conditions. One who engages in sabotage is...

 and other charges, and sentenced to life in prison.

Only free men can negotiate; prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.

Refusing to bargain for freedom after 21 years in prison, as quoted in TIME (25 February 1985)

I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.

Speech on the day of his release, Cape Town (11 February 1990)

Let's hope that Ken Osterbroek will be the last person to die.

Spoken shortly after Inkatha announced that they would participate in the 1994 elections. (The Bang-Bang Club p. 168)

I must deal immediately and at some length with the question of violence. Some of the things so far told to the Court are true and some are untrue. I do not, however, deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness, nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation, and oppression of my people by the Whites.