The Man who made the world standstill

The Man who made the world standstill


o many Nelson Mandela was a symbol of political freedom during the height of apartheid.  He was subjected to the brutality of apartheid colonialism by being held in prison for 27 years, for fighting against social injustices, systematic oppression and exploitation of the majority South Africans. 

On account that apartheid was not economically sustainable, the then President FW De Klerk faced relentless pressure from the international community. On 2 February 1990, De Klerk announced the unbanning of the liberation parties and the release of political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela.  Many believed that it was only through a democratic dispensation that the inequalities of colonialism and apartheid could be addressed. 

On the day of Mandela’s release, 11 February 1990, and in his maiden speech, Mandela made the following remarks, “It is our belief that the future of our country can only be determined by a body which is democratically elected on a non-racial basis.” This statement set the tone for South Africa’s future.

The NLSA’s vast Collections include newspapers in their original format.  We are delighted to present historical newspapers published in 1990, prior to and post, Mandela’s release from the Robben Island Prison.  This on-line exhibition is part of the Mandela Month and International Day for Mandela celebration, which is annually held in July.

Click on the image for a better view.

All images are from the Special Collections (Historical Newspapers) of the National Library of South Africa.

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