24 years ago today, on February 11th 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison in Paarl.
He had served a total of 27 years behind bars, most of it on the infamous Robben Island, after being convicted of treason during the Rivonia Trial in 1964 for his involvement in Umkhonto we Sizwe - the ANC’s armed wing.
Both before his sentencing and upon his release, Mandela made two iconic speeches. The first, delivered during the Rivonia Trial, lasted three hours. Referred to as the “I Am Prepared to Die" speech, it was inspired by Fidel Castro’s "La historia me absolverá" (History Will Absolve Me) and is considered one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century.
After his release from prison in Paarl, Mandela delivered another iconic speech that began similarly to Mark Antony’s equally iconic speech in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, but with a vastly different message: “Friends, Comrades and Fellow South Africans...”.
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Google+ | YouTube | Soundcloud | Mixcloud
All Africa, All the time.