Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (b. 1918) is a former President of South Africa, the first to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Prior to his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist and the leader of the African National Congress's armed wing. The South African courts convicted him on charges of sabotage and other crimes committed while he led the movement against apartheid. Mandela served 27 years in prison. Following his release from prison in February 1990, Mandela supported reconciliation and negotiation, and helped lead the transition towards multi-racial democracy in South Africa. Mandela has received more than 250 awards over four decades, most notably the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.