Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement on the passing of Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa:
“Throughout his life, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela met the purveyors of injustice, intolerance, and racism with an unyielding determination to forge a better and fairer future for his beloved nation. From joining the anti-apartheid movement, the African National Congress, and serving 27 years behind the bars of Robben Island as a political prisoner to his groundbreaking tenure in office and later advocacy on behalf of victims of HIV/AIDS, President Mandela stood ever firm for the principles of justice, democracy, equal rights, and peaceful co-existence. Embracing a strategy of non-violent mass resistance, he helped ushered South Africa out from the shadows of apartheid into a new day of freedom, democracy, and hope.
“He will be missed not only by the people of South Africa, with whom I join in mourning their beloved Madiba, but by Americans of every color and faith, including the many who worked tirelessly from afar to call attention to the injustice and brutality of apartheid, to protest his unjust imprisonment, and to boycott the evil system he struggled to overturn. President Mandela’s legacy will be not only one of toppling apartheid but ensuring that it was replaced not by bitterness and division but by reconciliation and a shared commitment to the rights of all South Africans. Our world will surely be a lesser one without President Mandela walking among us, but our future has been made ever greater by the legacy he leaves indelibly printed in our hearts.”