24th anniversary of Madiba's release

Today marks 24 years since Nelson Mandela was released from prison.

A picture taken on February 11, 1990 shows Nelson Mandela (C) and his then-wife Winnie raising their fists and saluting cheering crowd upon Mandela's release from the Victor Verster prison near Paarl.  Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Today marks 24 years since former President Nelson Mandela walked free from prison.

He was released just days after the unbanning of the African National Congress (ANC) and other groupings by the apartheid government.

Mandela spent 27 years in prison before becoming the country's first democratically elected president.

He died at the age of 95 on 5 December 2013.

On 11 February 1990, Mandela left the Victor Verster Prison a free man and on that day addressed thousands of people gathered outside Cape Town's City Hall.

Mandela spent 18 years on Robben Island and a short period at Pollsmoor Prison before spending the last 14 months of his imprisonment in a small house on the grounds of the Victor Verster Prison, now known as the Drakenstein Correctional Centre.

One of Mandela's prison warders, Christo Brand, recalls watching the events unfold on television.

"It was a joyful day. It was a day where he walked out in freedom and he changed the country for the better."

Brand says Mandela was like a father figure to him.