South Africans Remember Nelson Mandela's Historic Release from Prison
Thirty years ago today, the late anti-Apartheid veteran Nelson Mandela was released from prison after spending nearly three decades behind bars.
Today is the 30th anniversary of the late South African anti-Apartheid veteran Nelson Mandela's historic release from prison.
Mandela or Madiba, as he was affectionately known, was released from the Victor Verster Prison, now known as the Drakenstein Correctional Centre, after serving the remaining 14 months of his 27-year long sentence.
Thirty years ago today, Mandela walked the streets as a free man alongside Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and hundreds of fellow African National Congress (ANC) comrades. It was a historic day for Black South Africans and thousands came out to celebrate the moment and to listen to Mandela speak.
Following the infamous Rivonia Trial which took place from 1963-1964, Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Andrew Mlangeni and several others struggle veterans were sentenced to prison.
Mandela's 27-year long sentence was split between three prisons. The first prison, and perhaps the better known of the three, was located on Robben Island and saw Mandela spending 18 years there as prisoner "4664". In 1982, he was then moved to Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town and finally, Victor Verster Prison following health problems.
As part of alleged efforts to prevent further bloodshed and a smooth transition into democracy, then President F.W. de Klerk announced that he would release Mandela from prison.
Years later, South Africans are still examining the different ways in which Mandela's legacy has and is being engaged. While some mourn the fact that Mandela's ANC is no longer the same liberation movement that now rules the country, others express hope at the country's political landscape becoming better. A number of commemorative events are taking place across South Africa today in remembrance of that historic day.
Take a look at some of the tributes in remembrance of Mandela's release below:
- Why Are We So Obsessed with Making a God of Nelson Mandela ... ›
- Nelson Mandela's Family Has Launched a Media Platform In Honor ... ›
- How Nelson Mandela's Autobiography Was Smuggled Out Of Prison ... ›
- Nelson Mandela's Valentine's Day Letter - OkayAfrica ›
- Barack Obama Will Deliver This Year's Nelson Mandela Lecture in ... ›