South Africa marks 25th anniversary of Mandela prison release

World Today

On February 11th 1990 anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison after being locked up there for nearly three decades. Just four years later he went on to become the country’s first black president. A crowd gathered at the prison where Mandela was held to commemorate his release, showing that his inspiration and message is still alive there.

South Africa marks 25th anniversary of Mandela prison release

On February 11th 1990 anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison after being locked up there for nearly three decades. Just four years later he went on to become the country’s first black president. A crowd gathered at the prison where Mandela was held to commemorate his release, showing that his inspiration and message is still alive there.

Looking back to 1990, the crowd that gathered outside Victor Verster Prison in Paarl, South Africa that lined the streets stretched all the way to Cape Town.

Today, a much smaller crowd turned up at the prison to celebrate the 25th anniversary. One of the top six national ANC leaders, Jesse Duarte, recalled the excitement she shared with her comrades.

ANC leaders reminded their supporters just how hard Nelson Mandela and others had worked on the constitution to ensure freedom for all South Africans. Leaders urged that these reforms be protected in order to preserve the former president’s legacy.

Former South African President FW de Klerk, the man responsible for ordering Mandela’s release, described the day as a turning point in modern history.

CCTV’s Rene Del Carme gathered information for this report from Paarl in South Africa