Resolution J2885-2013

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

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  • Jan 13, 2014: ADOPTED
  • Jan 10, 2014: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Text

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
further
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to the family of Nelson Mandela.

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