He was convicted and jailed for five years in November 1962. While serving his sentence, he was charged, in the Rivonia trial, with sabotage and sentenced to life imprisonment.
A decade before being imprisoned, Mandela had spoken out against the introduction of Bantu Education, recommending that community activists "make every home, every shack or rickety structure a centre of learning".
Robben Island, where he was imprisoned, became a centre for learning, and Mandela was a central figure in the organised political education classes.
In prison Mandela never compromised his political principles and was always a source of strength for the other prisoners.
During the 'seventies he refused the offer of a remission of sentence if he recognised Transkei and settled there.
In the 'eighties he again rejected PW Botha's offer of freedom if he renounced violence.
It is significant that shortly after his release on Sunday 11 February 1990, Mandela and his delegation agreed to the suspension of armed struggle.