Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician .
Defiance campaign and transvaal anc presidency 1950 1954
Mandela took Xumas place on the ANC National Executive in March 1950. That month, the Defend Free Speech Convention was held in Johannesburg, bringing together African, Indian and communist activists to call an antiapartheid general strike. Mandela opposed the strike because it was not ANCled, but a majority of black workers took part, resulting in increased police repression and the introduction of the Suppression of Communism Act, 1950, affecting the actions of all protest groups. In 1950, Mandela was elected national president of the ANCYL, at the ANC national conference of December 1951, he continued arguing against a racially united front, but was outvoted. Thenceforth, he altered his entire perspective, embracing such an approach, influenced by friends like Moses Kotane and by the Soviet Unions support for wars of independence, Mandelas mistrust of communism also broke down. He became influenced by the texts of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong, and embraced dialectical materialism. In April 1952, Mandela began work at the H.M. Basner law firm, though his increasing commitment to work and activism meant he spent less time with his family.
In 1952, the ANC began preparation for a joint Defiance Campaign against apartheid with Indian and communist groups, founding a National Voluntary Board to recruit volunteers. Deciding on a path of nonviolent resistance influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, some considered it the ethical option, but Mandela instead considered it pragmatic. At a Durban rally on 22 June, Mandela addressed an assembled crowd of 10,000, initiating the campaign protests, for which he was arrested and briefly interned in Marshall Square prison. With further protests, the ANCs membership grew from 20,000 to 100,000, the government responded with mass arrests, introducing the Public Safety Act, 1953 to permit martial law. In May, authorities banned Transvaal ANC President J. B. Marks from making public appearances, unable to maintain his position, he recommended Mandela as his successor. Although the ultraAfricanist Bafabegiya group opposed his candidacy, Mandela was elected regional president in October.