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The day Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela's life began anew … his release from Victor Verster prison at the age of 71.
After 27 years behind bars, his homecoming celebration was the biggest political rally South Africans had ever seen.
SOUNDBITE: Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, saying (English):
"Your struggle, your commitment and your discipline have released me to stand before you today."
Mandela's lifelong quest was to gain freedom for the country's black majority.
Born to a Xhosa chief, Madiba - the clan name by which he was affectionately known - studied law, working part-time to support himself.
When South Africa's Afrikaner regime introduced apartheid, he joined forces with the then-militant African National Congress, or ANC.
But he remained committed to non-violence.
Then on March 21st, 1960, a breakaway organization, the Pan Africanist Congress, organized a peaceful protest against the despised pass book laws.