Mandela served 27 years in prison, spending many of those years at Robben Island Prison, off Cape Town.
The long imprisonment began in 1962, when Nelson Mandela was arrested and convicted of sabotage and other charges, and was sentenced to five years. In 1963, Mandela was brought to stand trial along with many fellow members of Umkhonto we Sizwe for conspiring against the government and plotting to overthrow it by the use of violence.
On June 12, 1964, eight of the accused, including Mandela, were sentenced to life imprisonment. While in jail, his reputation grew and he became widely known across the world as the most significant black leader in South Africa.
Throughout his imprisonment, pressure mounted on the South African government to release him. The slogan "Free Nelson Mandela" became the new battle cry of the anti-apartheid campaigners. Finally, Mandela was released on Feb. 11, 1990, in an event streamed live across the world. After his release, Mandela returned to his life's work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. (Yahoo News)
Complete coverage on the death of Nelson Mandela.