Chairperson, I rise on behalf of the ANC to make this statement: Mandela's release from prison remembered. The 11th of February 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's release from prison after he had served 27 years of incarceration. His release was a victory against colonial and apartheid oppression. Furthermore, this day signaled an important turning point in our country's history and the beginning of a long walk towards a free, united and democratic South Africa.
While the country and the world celebrate this day, we should not lose sight of why the late President was incarcerated for so many years. It was because of the ideals of a united, nonracial, nonsexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa. These ideals are enshrined in the Freedom Charter, and this year the country celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter under the leadership of the ANC.
The Freedom Charter was drawn up by the people of South Africa and adopted by the ANC as a lodestar for almost all the policies of the ANC, the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and many other progressive policies of the ANC government. This is a document that has become the cornerstone of our democratic dispensation, whose values and principles form the basis of our Constitution ... [Time expired.] [Applause.]