Thursday, December 12, 2013

Upon Returning from South Africa, Conyers Reflects on Nelson Mandela’s Legacy of Justice

(WASHINGTON) – Late yesterday evening, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) returned from Johannesburg, South Africa where he was attending former President Nelson Mandela’s memorial service. Upon returning to Washington, DC with the Congressional Delegation, Rep. Conyers issued the following statement:

"Nearly twenty years ago, in May of 1994, I traveled with President Clinton to South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s inauguration. Under different circumstances, I returned to South Africa this past week for Nelson Mandela’s memorial service. While the homecoming in South Africa was more somber, I will forever cherish the time we spent celebrating Mandela’s life, spirit, and historic work,” said Conyers.

“Following 27 years of exile on Robben Island, decades of campaigning for equality and justice in the face of hateful racial policies, Nelson Mandela changed the course of human history in his quest that ended apartheid. Like the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. before him, Nelson Mandela was a civil rights champion. Only through the strength of his character, and his distinctive blend of courage and compassion, was the oppressive apartheid regime brought to an end. For this, the people of South Africa – and people of all races, ethnicities, and nationalities across the globe – are forever grateful.

“As President Obama stated in his memorial address before the world, ‘a boy raised herding cattle and tutored by the elders of his Thembu tribe, Mandela would emerge as the last great liberator of the 20th century.’ I echo the President’s sentiments; there will never be another man as pure of heart and full of purpose as Nelson Mandela. The world has lost a giant, but his vision for justice will forever continue to instruct and inspire.”

Congressman John Conyers, Jr. alongside former South African President Nelson Mandela during a Congressional Black Caucus reception in Washington, DC.

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