South Africa's President Frederik Willem de Klerk addresses parliament on February 2, 1990, calling for reforms that would end the division of the country. Nelson Mandela was then released from prison.
With international pressure on South Africa's apartheid regime increasing since the 1970s, President Frederik Willem de Klerk finally introduces reforms at the beginning of February 1990 that would lead to the end of white minority rule in the deeply divided country. Just nine days later he releases Nelson Mandela from prison after 27 years and abolishes the racist apartheid laws. The first multi-racial elections are held in April 1994. It is the first time blacks are permitted to vote, and Nelson Mandela is elected president of South Africa.