On this day in 1964, Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment and was sent to Robben Island, seven miles off Cape Town, sparking international protests.

He served 27 years before becoming president in the country’s first fully representative democratic election.

As president, Mandela prioritised reconciliation between South Africa's black and white communities as swell as enacting sweeping reforms aimed at reducing inequality.

nelson mandela

Nelson Mandela served 27 years in prison

On Friday, Mandela remained in a “serious but stable condition” in a Pretoria hospital, where he has been for almost a week.

The former leader was admitted on Saturday after a recurrence of a lung condition.