South Africa: 25th anniversary of Mandela's release marked

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) - Wednesday marks the 25-year anniversary of Mandela's release from prison, an event that was celebrated around the world and which led to the liberation of South Africa following decades of Apartheid rule.

Mandela, who was convicted of treason in 1963, spent 27 years in jail.

Hours after his release from the Victor Verster prison, he addressed thousands of supporters – and a global television audience of hundreds of millions - from the Cape Town City Hall.

"Comrades and fellow South Africans, I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all," Mandela said, pledging to place the rest of his life in their hands.

President Jacob Zuma said Mandela's release was a milestone for the resistance movement across the continent and the world.

"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," Zuma said.

Fellow Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu said Mandela’s release was a "massively significant moment".

He saluted the prisoner-turned-world-statesman’s "extraordinary magnanimity”.

"My own view is that the Nelson Mandela we came to know, though not without flaws, came just about as close as any human being ever has to personifying grace," Tutu said in a statement.

Mandela died peacefully at his Johannesburg home in December 2013 at the age of 95.
-0- PANA CU/SEG 11Feb2015

11 february 2015 08:49:56

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