Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mandela: 20 Years of Freedom – by PIERRE LE ROUX

Some generations are fortunate to be part of historic moments, moments so profound that it changes to course of history and the path of a nation. For some these historic moments are tragic like the events that unfolded on 9/11 and most people remember where they were and what they were doing when the planes hit the twin towers. For others historic moments are joyful and fill one with hope. Today is the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from Victor Verster Prison that was the beginning of the end of Apartheid. Today 20 years ago Madiba took his first steps as a free man after serving 27 years as a political prisoner and would continue on his march to free a nation. Photo

I vividly remember that Sunday of 11 February 1990 when Mandela was released. I was 12 years old at the time but did appreciate that the release of Mandela was a momentous occasion that would change the course of history in South Africa. At the time South Africa was in a national State of Emergency which meant martial law was applied and enforced by the military and many civil liberties were temporarily taken from us - we were not living a democratic country. Much fear still existed and the African National Congress (ANC) was still viewed as a terrorist organization even though they had been unbanned. When Mandela emerged from prison all knew change was coming and this provided hope. His first speech signified a new era, a new path and the birth of a new nation. Read complete article – by Pierre Le Roux – Warfare: The Delightful and Dreary Sides of Gay Life

Related links:

Ideal of unity and harmony rises again as Nelson Mandela's release is remembered - The Guardian

Mandela makes appearance as lawmakers honor him - CNN International

Nelson Mandela - ABC News

Zuma hails Mandela legacy - The Sydney Morning Herald

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