Today February 11 makes it exactly 26 years since former President Nelson Mandela was released from prison. He was released unconditionally on February 11, 1990, after being incarcerated for 27 years.
As a way to mark this great day, the African National Congress (ANC) in the Western Cape has called on the people to gather at the city centre for the celebration.
Yonela Diko,the party’s provincial media spokesperson, says the 2016 celebration is made even more significant by the fact that it coincides with the State of the Nation Address. Diko also called on people, to conduct themselves in a manner portraying a Madiba’s memory.
It’s a symbolic day that is remembered all over the world by everyone and of course we know in terms of the emotion that is still attached to the day. It was quite a momentous day. It was a transformative day for all of us in the country, so it’s important for us to remember that day.
The chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation Sello Hatang has also urged South Africans to continue Madiba’s legacy of deepening democracy.
I think if there’s one thing South Africans can take from Madiba’s legacy is service. At the time when he came out of prison he said he’s here to service and he did exactly that.
Mandela was once a leader of the African National Congress (an organization dedicated to protesting the South African government’s policy of apartheid), was arrested in 1956 on treason charges, but was acquitted.
He was arrested again in August 1962 and sentenced to five years in prison but was convicted a second time for sabotage in 1963 and bagged a life sentence on June 12, 1964 and sent to prison on Robben Island.
The late Nelson Mandela spent about 20 years of his life on Robben Island until 1982 when he was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison and finally released in 1900, 27 years by president F. W. de Klerk . In April 1994, Mandela was elected president and served one five-year term before he finally retired.