The true National heroes of South Africa are the thousands of unknown natives who worked silently and consistently in an atmosphere of threat to overthrow the White regime. The abolition of apartheid in South Africa would not be possible by Mandela alone, without the initiative of the thousands of unsung heroes. Some of the leaders who have been ascribed as National heroes of South Africa are:
• Nelson Mandela
• Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu
• Oliver Tambo
• Joe Slovo
Nelson Mandela is one of the leading national heroes of South Africa, renowned for his role in the abolition of apartheid. His lifelong commitment in the fight against racial oppression has led him to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Born on 18 July, 1918 in Mvezo in Qunu, South Africa, Mandela was brought up in a traditional and tribal cultural ambience of his ancestors.
Since the time of his release from prison in 1990, Mandela remained at the core of the most gripping and inspirational political excitement in the world. He had been the president of ANC (African National Congress) and headed South Africa’s anti apartheid movement.
Mandela played a significant role in driving his nation towards a multiracial government and majority rule. Today he is respected internationally for his dedication in the fight for human rights and racial equality.
Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu
Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu was a veteran anti- apartheid activist and among the most respected leaders of the freedom movement in South Africa.
Born on 18 May, 1912 in Qutubeni, South Africa, Sisulu was raised in the tribal tradition.
In 1940, he joined the African National Congress (ANC), the movement for the liberation of the black South Africans from the minority white rule. He was also a friend and mentor to Nelson Mandela and together they founded the ANC Youth League along with their colleague Oliver Tambo.
Oliver Reginald Tambo
Oliver Tambo is one of the lesser known national heroes of South Africa who fought for the cause of abolition of apartheid in South Africa.
He was born on 27 October, 1917, in the town of Mbizana, South Africa. In the year 1942, he joined the African National Congress. Oliver Tambo was a co-founder of the ANC Youth Leagues in 1944, along with Nelson Mandela and Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu. He was also appointed the first national secretary of the ANCYL.
Joe Slovo was another lesser known South African National hero and an anti-apartheid activist. He was one of the founder members of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the ANC armed wing and in 1985 he had become the first white member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC.
Joe Slovo was born on 23 May, 1926, in Obelai, Lithuania. He was a committed activist who spent his life in the struggle against racial oppression. He was much hated by the apartheid regime. On 6 January 1995 Joe Slovo died of leukemia.