By 1952 Mandela and Tambo had opened the first black legal firm in the country, and Mandela was both Transvaal president of the ANC and deputy national president.
A petition by the Transvaal Law Society to strike Mandela off the roll of attorneys was refused by the Supreme Court.
In the 'fifties, after being forced through constant bannings to resign officially from the ANC, Mandela analysed the Bantustan policy as a political swindle. He predicted mass removals, political persecutions and police terror.
In February the ANC calls on the government to repeal all unjust laws or face a 'Campaign for the Defiance of Unjust Laws'. Mass rallies and strikes staged on 6 April and 26 June attract thousands of supporters.
The government reacts by introducing harsher penalties for protests against apartheid. Campaign leaders and opposition newspapers are banned and about 8,500 people are arrested, including Mandela and Sisulu. Because of the disciplined and nonviolent nature of the campaign both receive suspended sentences.
The defiance campaign has helped build ANC membership from about 7,000 at the beginning of the year to more than 100,000 by the year's end.
Tambo and Mandela open the first black legal firm in the country.
During this time, Mandela and fellow lawyer Oliver Tambo operated the law firm of Mandela and Tambo, providing free or low-cost legal counsel to many blacks who lacked attorney representation.
Mahatma Gandhi influenced Mandela's approach, and subsequently the methods of succeeding generations of South African anti-apartheid activists. Mandela even took part in the 29 January – 30 January 2007 conference in New Delhi marking the 100th anniversary of Gandhi's introduction of satyagraha in South Africa.