Party of Nelson Mandela marks 28th anniversary of his release from prison

  • 12/02/2018

African National Congress (ANC) leader Cyril Ramaphosa says the ruling party is holding talks over Jacob Zuma's position as president of the country and that those talks should be handled with "care and purpose".

"We know you want this matter to be finalised," Ramaphosa told a crowd of ANC supporters in Cape Town on Sunday.

South Africa's ANC has called a meeting of its national executive for Monday, as Ramaphosa and his allies lobby for President Zuma to step down.

The party of Nelson Mandela was marking the 28th anniversary of the day the late leader walked free from prison in the city of Cape Town.

On February 11, 1990, Mandela left Victor Verster prison, a jail in the Cape Winelands town of Paarl, outside of Cape Town. Mandela spent the last two years of his prison sentence there.

Upon his release, Mandela entered Cape Town triumphantly, accompanied by his former wife Winnie Mandela and members of the African National Congress. The occasion marked the first time Mandela addressed South Africans after 27 years in prison for opposing apartheid.

"History was made here where you are all standing," Mr Ramaphosa told the crowd of hundreds who had gathered on Sunday. He recalled the thousands of people who also gathered along the road, eager to catch a glimpse of Mandela as he drove from the prison.

"The centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela gives us an opportunity for renewal and rebuilding," Mr Ramaphosa said, noting that the party and the county was emerging from a difficult period.

In the last several years, South Africa's political turmoil has also led to economic uncertainty. Last year, S&P and Fitch downgraded the country's sovereign credit rating after Mr Zuma fired the finance minister over political infighting.