Watch Nelson Mandela's Speech After His Release From Prison in 1990

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Dec. 5 2013 5:19 PM

Nelson Mandela, 1918–2013

South African President Jacob Zuma has just announced that Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader, father of modern South Africa, and one of the towering figures of 20th-century history, has passed away at the age of 95. From Zuma's statement:

"Our thoughts are with the South African people who today mourn the loss of the one person who, more than any other, came to embody their sense of a common nationality. Our thoughts are with the millions of people across the world who embraced Madiba as their own, and who saw his cause as their cause." 
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Adam Roberts' obit is up on Slate now.

Above, see Mandela's famous address to a rally in Cape Town upon his release from prison on Feb. 11, 1990. He concluded the speech by quoting the statement he had made 26 years earlier during his trial: 

"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."

Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs and writes the World blog. 

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