Celebrating 25 years of freedom for Nelson Mandela

2015-02-11 13:23

Today marks the 25-year anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.

Mandela was released from the Victor Verster Prison on February 11 1990 after 25 years of imprisonment.

His release formed part of the beginning of the end of apartheid, as he led South Africa to its first democratic elections in 1994.

“We continue to be inspired by this teaching of forgiveness and national reconciliation as the cornerstones of the society envisaged by our forebears,” President Jacob Zuma said.

“This day ... marked a giant leap in the long walk to freedom, not just for Nelson Mandela but also for the people of South Africa as a whole.”

Mandela’s release was a milestone for the resistance movement across the continent and the world, he said.

“February 11 marked a decisive advance towards the achievement of our noble goals to create a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society based on fundamental human rights and the restoration of dignity for all.

“It is a reminder to all of us of our innate capacity as South Africans to overcome even the most daunting challenges and ensure the triumph of good over evil.”

To honour Mandela’s memory, efforts towards a society living in harmony and with equal opportunities should be redoubled, Zuma said.

Mandela died on December 5 2013 at the age of 95 after suffering from a prolonged respiratory infection. Here are some of our favourite moments since his historic release: Nelson Mandela's Speech After he was released from prison after 27 years in 1990

Nelson Mandela Speaks After His Release on February 11 1990

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