Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu (1912 -- 2003) – Walter Sisulu (right) is among the most respected leaders of the freedom movement in South Africa. The former ANC secretary-general was, like Mandela, jailed at Robben Island, where he served more than 25 years. In this photo, Sisulu is seated with Nelson Mandela (c), his then-wife Winnie (l), and Sisulu's wife Albertina (2nd-r), at a rally to celebrate Mandela's release from jail in 1990.
Desmond Tutu (1931) – Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu is a beloved South African icon who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his efforts to end and heal the wounds of apartheid. He later chaired South Africa's reconciliation commission to examine apartheid-era crimes. In 2007 he co-founded the Elders, a group of elder statesmen from around the world that works to solve global problems.
Oliver Tambo (1917 -- 1993) – Oliver Tambo, an exiled politician and activist against apartheid, became President of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1958. Later, Tambo was sent abroad by the ANC to mobilise opposition to apartheid. He returned to South Africa in 1991 after having spent over 30 years in exile and was elected National Chairperson of the ANC in July 1991. Mandela thanked Tambo in his speech when he was released from prison.
Robert Sobukwe (1924 -- 1978) – Robert Sobukwe (left) was a nationalist leader who left the African National Congress to found and head the Pan-Africanist Congress in 1959. One year later, he was arrested and moved to Robben Island where he was kept in solitary confinement. Sobukwe was released from prison in 1969 but was put under house arrest. He died in 1978 from lung complications but remains to this day a celebrated figure in the fight against apartheid.
Denis Goldberg (1933) – Denis Goldberg stands in front of Liliesleaf Farm, the apartheid-era hideout for Nelson Mandela and freedom fighters in Johannesburg. It is 50 years since the hideout was raided by police on July 11, 1963. Goldberg was imprisoned along with other key members of the anti-apartheid movement. He was the only white member of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC, to be arrested and sentenced in the Rivonia Trial to life imprisonment. In 1985, after 22 years in prison, he was released. Later, Goldberg also represented the ANC at the Anti-Apartheid Committee of the United Nations.
Helen Suzman (1917 -- 2009) – Helen Suzman, a white South African politician and founding member of the Progressive Party, criticized the then-governing National Party's policies of apartheid. She visited Mandela several times while he was in prison, and was present when he signed the new constitution in 1996.
Steve Biko (1946 -- 1977) – Steve Biko was one of South Africa's most important political activists and the leader of the country's Black Consciousness Movement. His brutal murder from injuries while in police custody caused a local and international outcry, turning world attention on the evils of apartheid. Biko, whose funeral was attended by thousands of mourners and turned into a protest rally, is hailed as a martyr of the anti-apartheid struggle and an international symbol of black resistance.
Albert Luthuli (1898 -- 1967) – A Zulu chief and a teacher, Albert Luthuli was elected president of the African National Congress in 1952. Luthuli became the first African to be honored with a Nobel Peace Prize (1960) in recognition of his role in the civil rights movement and the nonviolent struggle against racial discrimination.
Joe Slovo (1926 -- 1995) – Joe Slovo (left) was a key negotiator between various anti-Apartheid groups and the ruling National Party. He proposed the breakthrough in the negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa with the "sunset clause" for a coalition government for the five years following a democratic election. He was also the first white elected to the African National Congress leadership.
Ruth First (1925 -- 1982) – Ruth First (left) was an anti-apartheid activist and investigative journalist. She was exiled from South Africa in 1964, with her husband, prominent South African communist Joe Slovo, and their children. In 1982, while working in Mozambique, First was killed by a letter bomb sent by the South African secret service. First is seen here at the Anti-Apartheid Movement's freedom day rally in London in 1965.