South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid

Nelson Mandela's Release from Prison

Summary

After more than 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela was finally released on February 11, 1990 to throngs of eager supports in South Africa and in many cities around the world. Mandela's release came on the heels of the government’s unbanning of the African National Congress and other liberation movements on February 2. These two events were evidence of the mass mobilization that had built throughout the 1980s demanding an end white minority rule. Soon after Mandela’s release, the National Party government and the African National Congress agreed to formally negotiating an end to apartheid. These protracted talks eventually led to a political settlement, a new democratic constitution, and the first free elections.

Web Images

Political Art: "Free Mandela" From: African Activist Archive
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Web Documents

Speech: "Nelson Mandela's Address to Rally in Cape Town on His Release from Prison"
By Nelson Mandela
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AODL African Studies Center MSU Matrix NEH