facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Mandela attends parliamentary speeches

Feb. 11, 2010 at 5:59 PM   |   Comments

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.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Ukraine claims Russian offensive on third front
2
Major general stripped of title over handling of sexual abuse allegation
3
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal sues Obama over Common Core
4
Texas man acquitted of killing man who killed his sons in DUI
5
'Coolest' cooler breaks Kickstarter record
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback