He greeted the crowd with a clenched fist salute, then walked back to his car before leaving at the head of a long cavalcade for Cape Town along a route lined with emotional well-wishers.
Celebrations erupted throughout the country at the news of Mr Mandela's release. But in Cape Town police fired birdshot and rubber bullets to disperse parts of the crowd awaiting him after youths allegedly smashed windows and looted shops on the square.
Doctors worked by torchlight only 100 yards from where Mr Mandela spoke to treat scores of people with gunshot wounds and a South African Council of Churches spokesman said at least two were killed.
Elsewhere, residents said they had unconfirmed reports that police travelling in a car through Mdantsane township in the independent homeland of Ciskei shot dead three people among a crowd celebrating the release.
Police fired shotguns and teargas at a crowd of rejoicing blacks in the Duncan Village township outside East London, an Indian Ocean port bordering Ciskei, residents said.
-- The Guardian, 12 February 1990