Nelson Mandela released 20 years ago today

The announcement came on the 2nd of February of 1990 by then South African State President F.W. de Klerk that the ban on the ANC (African National Congress) and other Anti-Apartheid organisations in the country would be reversed and that then political prisoner Nelson Mandela would be released from prison.

Nelson Mandela had been jailed for 27 years by the South African Apartheid government on charges that included involvement in planning armed action (4 acts of sabotage) and conspiracy to help other countries invade South Africa. Nelson Mandela admitted to the sabotage charges but denied the conspiracy charge. Nelson Mandela was finally released on the 11th of February 1990, 20 years ago today.

After the first democratic election in South African history in 1994 Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the first democratically elected leader of South Africa. Over the years Nelson Mandela has received more than 250 rewards and honors, including the Nobel Peace prize in 1993 and other rewards. He was also named Person of the Year by Time Magazine in 1993. Over the years the Nelson Mandela character has been portrayed in movies and television by 12 different people. Most recently Nelson Mandela was played by Morgan Freeman in the movie Invictus (in 2009). In 1997 Nelson Mandela was played by Sidney Portier in the made for TV film Mandela and De Klerk. The role of F.W. De Klerk was played in this film by veteran actor Michael Caine.

Here are a few quotes from Nelson Mandela (commonly referred to as “Madiba” by South Africans)

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

“Does anybody really think that they didn’t get what they had because they didn’t have the talent or the strength or the endurance or the commitment?”

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

“I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man.”

“I dream of the realization of the unity of Africa, whereby its leaders combine in their efforts to solve the problems of this continent. I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wildernesses.”

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

“If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.”

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

“If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

“In my country we go to prison first and then become President.”

“It always seems impossible until its done.”

“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”

“Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.”

“Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another.”

“Only free men can negotiate, prisoners can not enter into contracts. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.”

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”

“There is no such thing as part freedom.”

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

“When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.”

“We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”



Henno Kruger

Digital Marketing Campaign Coordinator at Junk Mail Publishing.

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