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jueves, febrero 11, 2010

Madiba Day

This is wonderful:

South Africans on Thursday celebrated the steps that sounded apartheid's death knell 20 years ago: Nelson Mandela walking to freedom after 27 years in prison.

Thousands gathered for commemorations near Cape Town at what was known in 1990 as Victor Verster, the last prison where Mandela was held. The crowds milled around a 10-foot (3-meter) high bronze statue erected at the prison in 2008 depicting Mandela's first steps as a free man. Exactly 20 years ago, Mandela emerged from Victor Verster on foot, hand-in-hand with his then-wife Winnie, fist raised, smiling but resolute.

''We knew that his freedom meant that our freedom had also arrived,'' Cyril Ramaphosa, a leader in Mandela's African National Congress who headed a welcome committee for Mandela in 1990, told the crowd at the prison Thursday.

Earlier, Ramaphosa and other ANC leaders had approached the gates of the prison to re-enact Mandela's 1990 walk. Arms linked, they stepped through shouting: ''Viva Mandela!''

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