(Photo by Alet van Huyssteen)
Nelson Mandela lived during a time of immense turmoil in South Africa. It was commonly feared at the time that soon, the turmoil surrounding South African apartheid and domination of whites would erupt into "the worst bloodbath since the Second World War" (Times). Economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure had already been imposed but had little result. The options of the repressed people were dwindling. Even after months of unrest and killings "unprecedented in the country's history" (times), the government still naively believed it could control the situation with force. The government, in a failed effort to please the people, introduced a program of reform to include power-sharing but without ending overall white control. It was during such hostile conditions that Nelson Mandela rose as a leader among the repressed people.