Five takes from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address on Nelson Mandela's release

12 February 2020 - 06:36 By Unathi Nkanjeni
President Cyril Ramaphosa alongside the statue of Nelson Mandela on the Cape Town City Hall balcony on February 11 2020.
President Cyril Ramaphosa alongside the statue of Nelson Mandela on the Cape Town City Hall balcony on February 11 2020.
Image: Esa Alexander

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the release of former president Nelson Mandela marked the end of apartheid.

Tuesday marked 30 years since Mandela was released from prison, after the unbanning of political organisations such as the ANC, PAC and SACP.

Delivering a keynote address on the balcony of the Cape Town City Hall, where Madiba addressed thousands of people on February 11 1990, Ramaphosa said former apartheid president FW de Klerk's kindness did not free Mandela.

Here are five takes from his address.

Death of apartheid

“The day Mandela was released is the day that we all knew that apartheid was dead. It was finished and klaar.”

Victory achieved

“The people of our country, who ensured Nelson Mandela was freed from prison, it was through your struggles in the underground, through mass mobilisation in your various organisations, unions and churches.

“It was also through the armed struggle and international solidarity. It was the people of this country who finally achieved their victory.”

Not De Klerk's kindness

“It was not out of the kindness of FW de Klerk’s heart. It was not because he felt sorry for Nelson Mandela.

“It was because of the pressure and the struggles the people of the country waged to enable Mandela to be released. It was your victory.”

Winnie kept the fire burning

“Winnie Mandela kept Nelson Mandela’s name alive every day. She and many others kept fires of resistance burning in the breasts of the people of this country.”

Generation of democracy

“You are the generation born from democracy. You have grown up with the story of uTata uMadiba, learnt about him in school and even seen him on television.

“I will tell you that on that day 30 years ago, these steps were also full of young South Africans like you.”


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