facebook
twitter
search
search
X
Breaking News: Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Tsarnaev will seek a new trial

Mandela attends parliamentary speeches

Feb. 11, 2010 at 5:59 PM

PAARL, South Africa, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Former South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela and his wife made a rare public appearance Thursday as the country's parliament honored him.

His visit to parliament came on the anniversary of his walk to freedom two decades ago after 27 years in prison, CNN reported. Earlier reports indicated Mandela wouldn't attend.

"President Mandela united this country behind the goal of a non-sexist, non-racial democratic and prosperous South Africa," President Jacob Zuma said. "We should reflect on how far we have traveled as a country."

Mandela, 91, and his wife, Graca Machel, were present to hear Zuma speak, as was Mandela's ex-wife, Winnie Mandela.

Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years for opposing South Africa's government, which brutally enforced its strict segregation laws. After he was released, Mandela worked with South Africa's white president, F.W. de Klerk, to end apartheid.

The African National Congress elected Mandela as its president, and he was elected South Africa's first black president by a landslide in 1994.

Many of South Africa's political leaders marched past the gates of Drakenstein Correctional Center, known as Victor Verster prison when Mandela was jailed there, re-enacting Nelson Mandela's walk to freedom 20 years ago.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Kim Jong Un had terrapin farm manager executed, says source
Burt's Bees co-founder Burt Shavitz dies at 80
Encroaching sea levels endanger Pakistan's Indus Delta
North Korea requests medical aid from U.N. agencies
More than 80 percent of North Korean defectors are women, says report