Heroes of the anti-apartheid movement

Story highlights

  • Apartheid was a system of racial segregation in South Africa, enforced by the government from 1948 until 1994
  • These men and women were anti-apartheid activists who stood up against injustice
  • Many have been jailed, killed or exiled during their battle against racial segregation

Nelson Mandela, hailed for leading South Africa out of decades of apartheid, always said he wanted to be remembered as part of a collective and not in isolation.

"We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom. We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve lasting success. We must therefore act together as a united people for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world," said Mandela in his inauguration speech when he became South Africa's first black president in 1994.

He had spent 27 years in prison for his fight for democracy and racial equality. From 1948 until 1994 the South African government segregated black South Africans from white South Africans in all areas of life, including education, medical care and other public services.

Read more: Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid icon and father of modern South Africa, dies

But Mandela wasn't alone in his fight to end this injustice. These men and women, many of whom were fellow members of the African National Congress (ANC), stood up against racial segregation and discrimination.