Nelson Mandela was hidden in Nigeria from the apartheid Govt for 6 months by former Nigerian Minister, Mbazulike Amaechi in 1963.
South Africa’s former President Thabo Mbeki lived in Nigeria from 1977-84.
Nigeria’s Jaja Wachuku, First Speaker of House of Representatives of Nigeria saved Mandela from the death penalty in 1963/1964 during the Rivonia Trial.
In 1963, Nelson Mandela along with 12 other ‘controversial’ South African politicians were arrested and convicted for sabotage after being found in Liliesleafarm Farm in Rivonia where they had been hiding for two years. At the time, Nelson Mandela had been listed as a terrorist by the U.S. government after evading the police and going into hiding since 1961.
Mandela became more radical while in prison and admitted to sabotaging, but pleaded innocent to every other charge. At the trial, Mandela gave a three hour “I Am Prepared to Die” Speech and was found guilty and sentenced to death in 1964.
At the time, Jaja Wachuku was working as the first Minister of Foreign Affairs in Nigeria after serving as the first Ambassador and Paramount Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations. Through his excellent showcase of work ethics, he had gained considerable fame and respect in the United Nations as well as established strong relations with presidents of the United States between 1960 and 1963.
Wachuku, who believed in what Mandela stood for and believed that he was wrongfully sentenced, intervened during his trial through the United Nations and South African government.
Through Jaja Wachuku, Nelson Mandela and the 12 other political leaders were sentenced to life imprisonment instead of the death penalty..
Nelson Mandela thanking Nigeria for the support given to South Africans while he was away in prison
Providing them with teachers, doctors, giving their children scholarships to go to universities in Nigeria when South Africa was under the apatheid (white rule)
Mandela was in Lagos after his release from prison before becoming president in 1990
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