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End of Apartheid (1990)

South Africa's President Frederik Willem de Klerk addresses parliament on February 2, 1990, calling for reforms that would end the division of the country. Nelson Mandela was then released from prison.

Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie as he leaves the prison in 1990

With international pressure on South Africa's apartheid regime increasing since the 1970s, President Frederik Willem de Klerk finally introduces reforms at the beginning of February 1990. He releases Nelson Mandela a few days later and abolishes the apartheid laws. Nelson Mandela's release from prison after 27 years is celebrated throughout Africa. The first multi-racial elections are held in April 1994. It is the first time blacks are permitted to vote, and Nelson Mandela is elected president of South Africa.

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