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Nelson Mandela – Released February 11, 2010

Posted by baldricman in News.
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Today marks the day, 20 years ago, that Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was released after 27 years in prison, most of which was spent at Robben Island. Now there are probably a thousand articles and blogs describing this, and I don’t feel up to the challenge of trying to match the depth of knowledge and research and journalistic skill that is out there today, so I thought I’d just share a few of the things I’ve come across already.

Firstly, while listening to the radio on the way in, the presenters played a short montage of various interviews and old archived radio/TV broadcasts, from around the time of ┬áMandela’s release, and all the unrest before and after. After some quick googling, I came across http://www.mandelahistory.org/, and from there found NPR’s “Remembering Nelson Mandela’s Pivotal Moment”, which contains some of these excellent and very, very interesting audio montages. You’ll hear Mandela himself, Dr Verwoed, Winnie Mandela in a telephone interview (while under house arrest), live recordings of police dispersing riots, and numerous other, very familiar voices. A lot of work as clearly gone into these, and I highly recommend you fire them up (they are streamed), and listen to them while you’re at your desk. I find it’s amazing how much of the detailed memories during that time come flooding back, with a little reminding.

Also, check out Madiba’s Release Remembered, and perhaps most vivid of all, IOL’s gallery here.

Only free men can negotiate; prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.

– Refusing to bargain for freedom after 21 years in prison, as quoted in┬áTIME (25 February 1985)