Mandela's release was a people's victory - ANC

Party says February 11 1990 signalled an important turning point in our country's history


11 FEBRUARY 2015

On this day twenty five years ago, the Father of our Nation and Icon of our Struggle, Comrade Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, walked out of the then Victor Verster Prison a free man after 27 years of incarceration. Madiba's release was a people's victory against colonial and apartheid oppression.

The National Party was forced to admit its failures and realise that it could no longer govern on its terms. This day further signalled an important turning point in our country's history and the beginning of a long walk towards a free South Africa - united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous; underpinned by fundamental human rights, social justice and equality.

Whilst the events of the 11 February 1990 constituted a defeat of the policies of apartheid and national oppression, Comrade Madiba was quick to warn us that "many more battles still lie ahead of us before we can say that the seal of permanence has been placed on the processes of ending race relations". These words remain true to this day. As a society, we must reject racism in all its forms and continue to inspire our people towards a non-racial South Africa.

As South Africans and the progressive peoples of the world mark this important day, Comrade Madiba's words that "Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world," should continue to inspire us to emulate his life's work and uphold, promote and defend his legacy.

Building on the hope that this day signalled 25 years ago, South Africans must recommit themselves to remain true to the ideals and values of Tata Mandela and his collective, values embodied and held dear by the African National Congress of humility, hard work, dedication, selflessness, integrity, honesty and sacrifice.

Statement issued by Zizi Kodwa, ANC national spokesperson, February 11 2015

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