This Week in History: Nelson Mandela Released from Prison

On this day [February 11th] in 1990, anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, was released from Victor Vester prison after spending 27 years, six months and six days in prison. Mandela served 27 years initially on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Rrison and Victor Vester Prison.

A crowd of over 2000 people and the media had gathered outside the prison from 8am in the morning waiting for Mandela. When he walked out he did so hand-in-hand with his then second wife Winnie Mandela. Later on that day he addressed a rally of over 60,000 people in Cape Town.

In his speech he said, “The need to unite the people of our country is as important a task now as it always has been. No individual leader is able to take on this enormous task on his own. It is our task as leaders to place our views before our organisation and to allow the democratic structures to decide.”

Source citation:  “Nelson Mandela Released From Prison On February 11, 1990 [press release].” Africa News Service 11 Feb. 2014. General OneFile. Web. 8 Feb. 2016.

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