~Today they Freed Nelson Mandela

On February 11, 1990, after 27 years of incarceration, Mr Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison outside Paarl, following the relaxation of South Africa’s apartheid laws by the then ruling National Party and President FW de Klerk.

Mr Mandela was accompanied by his wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and was greeted at the gates of the prison by thousands of waiting supporters. From there, Mr Mandela was taken in a motorcade to Cape Town City Hall, where he addressed a 50 000-strong crowd and millions of television viewers in South Africa and worldwide from the balcony. Before he began his speech, Mr Mandela greeted the world with “Amandla!” (“Power!”), an expression used as a rallying cry by activists and organisations through the decades of racist policies and persecution by the apartheid government.

Nelson Mandela spent 27 years as a political prisoner in South Africa before becoming the country’s first black president. Mandela was a leading member of the African National Congress (ANC), which opposed South Africa’s white minority government and its policy of racial separation, known as apartheid. The government outlawed the ANC in 1960. Mandela was captured and jailed in 1962, and in 1964 he was convicted of treason and sentenced to life in prison. Instead of disappearing from view, Mandela became a prison-bound martyr and worldwide symbol of resistance to racism. South African President F.W. de Klerk finally lifted the ban on the ANC and released Mandela in 1990. Mandela used his stature to help dismantle apartheid and form a new multi-racial democracy, and he and de Klerk shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. Mandela was elected the country’s president in 1994. He served until 1999, when he was succeeded by his deputy Thabo Mbeki. Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, was published in 1994.

27 in prison as a political prisoner...A Hero Indeed.

Be Golden

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