Release of Nelson Mandela


Release of Nelson Mandela


  • Intro

    Through the 1970s and 1980s, South Africa was under intense international pressure to stop apartheid - the enforced social separation of black citizens from the ruling white minority. Charismatic black South African Nelson Mandela was a figurehead of the campaign, even though he had been in prison since 1962, jailed for his activities against the system.


    On 11 February 1990, following relaxation of apartheid by South African president FW de Klerk, and the lifting of the ban on the black rights party the ANC (African National Congress), Mandela was released. Within hours he was on a balcony at Cape Town's City Hall, addressing a rally of 50,000 people. In England, television programmes were interrupted to broadcast his speech live.


    Mandela became president of the ANC in 1991, and shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with de Klerk. In 1994 he was elected president of South Africa, stepping down in 1999.


    Image Copyright: John Frost Newspapers


    Shelfmark: British Library Newspaper Archive

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