Mourning the death of Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa

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  • 10 / Jan / 2014
  • 13 / Jan / 2014

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative



LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION mourning the death of Nelson Mandela, former
President of South Africa, civil rights leader, teacher, freedom fight-
er, Father of his Nation, and inspiration to the global community

WHEREAS, It is with profound intent that this Legislative Body is moved
to pay homage to a man of indomitable faith and dedication whose
purposeful life and accomplishments will forever stand as a paradigm and
inspiration for others; and
WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to give acclaim to
individuals of great character whose lives exemplify the highest ideals
of humanity; and
WHEREAS, Born into a royal clan on July 18, 1918, in Mvezo, South
Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela died on December 5, 2013, at the age
of 95; and
WHEREAS, Nelson Mandela attended local boarding schools and then Fort
Hare University; while studying law, he developed an interest in African
nationalism and non-violent resistance; and
WHEREAS, Later, while working as a law clerk, Nelson Mandela became
active in the African National Congress (ANC), eventually serving as its
vice president as the South African government continued to enforce
apartheid; and
WHEREAS, Nelson Mandela was charged with conspiring against the
government and sentenced to life in prison in 1964; he, along with seven
other ANC members, were sent to Robben Island Prison; and
WHEREAS, He delivered his famous "I am prepared to die" statement from
the dock at the opening of the Rivonia Trial, which declared "I have
cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all
persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an
ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an
ideal for which I am prepared to die."; and
WHEREAS, Nelson Mandela completed his law degree by correspondence at
Robben Island; throughout his time in prison, local and international
pressure built for the South African government to release him; and
WHEREAS, In the late 1980s, the campaign to release Nelson Mandela
reached its apex, with demonstrators across the world's major cities
gathering and chanting the slogan: "Free Nelson Mandela!"; and
WHEREAS, In February of 1990, the hopes and dreams of Nelson Mandela's
supporters were answered when President Frederik De Klerk announced his
release; and
WHEREAS, Soon after he was freed, this magnanimous leader set about
creating the world he envisioned; Nelson Mandela began negotiations with
the South African government, leading to the gradual dismantling of
apartheid from 1990 to 1993, which earned both him and De Klerk a joint
Nobel Peace Prize in 1993; and
WHEREAS, Admired by his country and the world at large, Nelson Mandela
won South Africa's first multi-racial elections on April 27, 1994,
becoming its first black president; he vowed to build a "rainbow nation
at peace with itself and with the world"; and
WHEREAS, Nelson Mandela established the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission with the intention of resolving the gaping wounds left by
apartheid, and working toward national unity; and
WHEREAS, At the end of his term in 1999, Nelson Mandela withdrew from
political life but remained active in various causes, particularly in
the fight against AIDS, the disease that claimed the life of his son,
Makgatho, in 2005; and

WHEREAS, South African cleric Desmond Tutu, the first black archbishop
of Cape Town and a vocal opponent of racial segregation, described this
extraordinary man "a global icon of reconciliation"; and
WHEREAS, Nelson Mandela is survived by his wife, Graca Machel and
three children, as well as his former wife, Winnie Madikizela; and
WHEREAS, Nelson Mandela's monumental legacy will continue to shine
forth as a beacon of hope for all those who aspire to create a just and
peaceful world; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
mourn the death of Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa,
remembering his purposeful life and countless achievements, and express-
ing its sincerest condolences to his family and nation; and be it
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to the family of Nelson Mandela.


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