Editor's Note: Wednesday marks the 25th anniversary of the day that Nelson Mandela walked out of prison and entered the negotiations to end apartheid. Greg Myre, the international editor of NPR.org, covered Mandela's release and recounts that day.

The evening before his release from 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela was ushered into a secret meeting with South African President F.W. de Klerk for a conversation that sounded straight from the theater of the absurd.