On this day in 1990, the late statesman Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison in the Western Cape, after 27 years behind bars for his fight against Apartheid.
Provincial ANC secretary Faiez Jacobs said February 11, 1990 was the day that South Africa changed forever.
“Comrade Mandela’s release was achieved through our struggles that had pushed the apartheid regime into a corner where they were forced to negotiate their way out of power,” he said.
“Mandela’s freedom from his prison cell was also brought about because of unrelenting pressure by our international allies.”
Marking the anniversary of the release, and with elections just a few months away, Jacobs said it was time for South Africa and the Western Cape to “return to Mandela’s vision”.
“His struggle, as well as that of those pioneers who shoulder-to-shoulder with him took on the might of apartheid was to establish a non-racial, united, non-sexist and fully democratic state. Those were the ideals he was prepared to die for,” he said.
“We are eternally grateful that he had lived to enter a new country. Here in the Western Cape we pledge to continue Mandela’s fight for a just society.”
Jacobs said they were optimistic of doing well enough in May’s general elections to have a say in how the province will be governed.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Sunday it “has no intention” of governing the Western Cape in a coalition. “It will be a regression”.
Addressing the media after the last meeting of the party’s federal council, Maimane said the council confirmed their targets of winning Gauteng and the Northern Cape, and retaining the Western Cape and growing their share of the vote nationally.
On Sunday, it was announced that former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille would lead Good’s fight for the Western Cape.
She launched the party in December 2018 and recently unveiled its manifesto. Good’s Western Cape campaign launch takes place on Saturday, February 16.