Twenty years ago, on 11 February 1990, after 27 years of incarceration, Nelson Mandela walked out of Victor Verster prison on a hot Sunday afternoon. And history changed. Justice Malala provides some of his memories and observations of that day in a column in the Guardian:
I watched Mandela’s walk out of prison at my friend Michael’s house in a township near my mother’s house. We expected him to appear at 3pm at the latest. We waited, and waited and 3pm came and went. “You cannot trust these Boers,” said Michael, angry. “They are not going to do it.”
We could not quite believe that it would happen. We could not trust them. When Mandela did finally emerge from prison, with his wife, Winnie Mandela, holding his hand, there were cries and ululations. We could not move. We just cried.