Key Moments in Mandela's Life
Former South African is dead at 95
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 5, 2013 4:43 PM CST
Feb. 11, 1990: Nelson Mandela and his then-wife, Winnie, raise clenched fists as they walk upon his release from prison in Cape Town, South Africa.   (AP Photo/Greg English, File)
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(Newser) – The accolades have begun pouring in for Nelson Mandela, who has died at age 95. Meanwhile, the AP ticks off some key moments in his life:

  • April 20, 1964: Charged with sabotage, Mandela delivered a statement during his trial in Pretoria that revealed the depth of his resolve in the fight against apartheid and his willingness to lay down his life in an effort to end white racist rule. "I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

  • Feb. 11, 1990: Mandela walked out of South Africa's Victor Verster prison near Cape Town after 27 years in captivity, holding hands with his wife, Winnie.
  • May 10, 1994: Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa after democratic elections, taking the oath of office at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the South African capital.
  • June 24, 1995: Mandela strode onto the field at the Rugby World Cup final in Johannesburg, wearing South African colors and bringing the overwhelmingly white crowd of more than 60,000 to its feet. They chanted "Nelson! Nelson! Nelson!" as the president congratulated the victorious home team in a moment that symbolized racial reconciliation.
  • July 11, 2010: A smiling Mandela waved to the crowd at the Soccer City stadium at the closing ceremony of the World Cup, whose staging in South Africa allowed the country, and the continent, to shine on one of the world's biggest stages. Mandela appeared frail, and it was his last public appearance.

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