Former South African president and anti-apartheid hero
Nelson Mandela became the first
black leader of Africa's biggest economy after historic all-race
elections in 1994.
Before his 1990 release he spent nearly three decades in prison for conspiring to overthrow the apartheid government.
He stepped down as president in 1999 after one term in office and has been removed from politics for a decade. His last appearance in public was at the final of the soccer World Cup in Johannesburg in 2010.