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Nelson Mandela

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Nelson Mandela

Photograph By AP Photo

Nelson Mandela, accompanied by Winnie Mandela, his wife at the time, was released from Victor Verster Prison on Feb. 11, 1990. "We call on our people to seize this moment so that the process towards democracy is rapid and uninterrupted," he said that evening. "We have waited too long for our freedom." He had been jailed more than 27 years, including a significant stretch at Robben Island.