On Feb. 11, 1990, upon his release from prison, Nelson Mandela stood on the steps of City Hall in Cape Town, South Africa. He told the gather crowd of more than 100,000 people to seize what he called "a decisive moment." In the audio above, you can listen to a segment of that speech.
For 27 years, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island for his fight against South Africa's apartheid regime. Saki Macozoma served time on Robben Island alongside Mandela in the 1970s, and he joins Robert Siegel to remember Mandela, who died Thursday at age 95.
NPR's former South Africa correspondent John Matisonn worked for Nelson Mandela, helping the leader improve his media savvy after he was released from prison on Robben Island. Matisonn remembers Mandela's keen intelligence and resilience. Matisonn tells Robert Siegel the Nobel Peace Prize recipient emphasized that he was an ordinary man, and insisted he was no saint.
President Obama addressed the nation Thursday after news that former South African president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela died, saying the world lost an influential, courageous and "profoundly good" man.
A big ruling on whether poor criminal defendants have the right to a lawyer came this week. A judge in Washington state finds two cities have systematically violated the rights of indigent defendants by providing them with lawyers who spent less than one hour on their cases.