Human rights trailblazer Nelson Mandela died on Thursday at the age of 95.
In his quest against the apartheid system in South Africa, Mandela spent nearly three decades in prison.
Here’s the speech he gave after he was released:
Mandela opened the speech with these words:
Friends, comrades and fellow South Africans.
I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all.
I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.
Read the full text on the website of the African National Congress, the political party that has held power in South Africa since 1994.