The African National North West Legislature takes this moment to remember, South Africa’s first democratically elected President, the father of our nation, President Nelson Mandela, who was unconditionally released from prison after spending 27 years as a political prisoner in Robben Island. On this day, 11 February 1990, President Mandela walked in the streets of Cape Town as a free man.
As we celebrate the twentieth year of our democracy as a country, the North West Legislature salutes and remember this great leader, a philanthropist, lawyer, anti-apartheid activist, ANC member, SACP member, MK Commander in Chief, 1956 Treason Trialist, Robben Island prisoner, Nobel Peace Prize winner and first elected President of a democratic South Africa.
On this release from prison, President Nelson Mandela left the Victor Verster prison (renamed Drakenstein Correctional Centre) on the outskirts of Paarl. He was driven 60 km to Cape Town by the African National Congress (ANC) Rose Sonto along a route lined by thousands of supporters.
On the balcony of the City Hall he spoke to a crowd of approximately 50,000 people, who had waited for hours to see him. He started by expressing his sincere and warmest gratitude to the “millions of my compatriots and those in every corner of the globe who have campaigned tirelessly for my release”.
The month of February also signifies the moment in which President Nelson Mandela was issued with his first South African passport on 19 February 1990, 8 days after he was released from prison.
The North West Legislature and the people of the North West province will always be indebted to Madiba contribution towards shaping of our laws as a country and for steering our democratic dispensation and government.
Let us together ensure that we continue with President Mandela’s legacy and move South Africa forward.
May his soul rest in peace
Office of the Speaker
2nd floor, West Wing
North West Provincial Legislature
New Parliament Building
Dr James Moroka Drive