Royce supports House resolution praising Mandela

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) was among a bipartisan group of legislators who introduced a House resolution on Monday to honor the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa.

The resolution acknowledged Mandela’s refusal to renounce his opposition to apartheid rule in exchange for freedom throughout 27 years in prison. It also recognized Mandela as a widely respected symbol of the anti-apartheid movement.

“The world has lost a courageous and generous man in Nelson Mandela,” Royce said. “He was indeed one of democracy’s strongest champions. His vision and lack of vindictiveness was amazing and brought South Africans through a very difficult transition, which could have gone in a very different, violent direction.”

Royce also noted that Mandela opted to serve a single term as president and chose to relinquish political power that he could have kept.

“…His message of reconciliation must endure and be a model for the African continent, and quite frankly, the world,” Royce said. “This resolution is a tribute to a man whose life bettered the world.”

Africa Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who also sponsored the House resolution, commended Mandela for choosing to pursue reconciliation rather than violence in his fight to end apartheid.