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1994: Ending apartheid

Nelson Mandela's inauguration as the first black President of South Africa took place outside the Union buildings in Pretoria - the very place where apartheid had been conceived.

His appointment on 10 May 1994 followed the first democratic elections in South Africa's history, in which Mr Mandela's African National Congress party won 252 out of 400 seats.

Tens of thousands of people flocked to Pretoria to witness a ceremony which ended more than 300 years of white rule and what President Mandela called the "human disaster" of apartheid.

Your memories

Ours was the only black and white television set in the dusty neighbourhood of a surburb in Kampala. As Nelson Mandela took the oath, the little room we used as a living room erupted with deafening applause. It felt like one of those days when an African team scores in a world cup tournament and the noise just keeps on coming. We felt the electricity from that ampitheatre. I can still hear the applause.
Owen Kibenge, Uganda

The day Mandela became president united the country in a unique way. Watching the ceremony on TV in our restaurant in Durban with the staff and customers all glued to the same screen, we all felt together. Together in the sense that we had all achieved this moment together. That it wasn't just Mandela but all of us who had voted for this. All of us had something to be proud of collectively. Mandela was the embodiment of our achievement. He still is.
Gerald David, UK


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