Payne Statement on the Passing of President Nelson Mandela

Dec 5, 2013

Newark, N.J. – Today, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) released the following statement after the passing of Nelson Mandela:

“Nelson Mandela was a hero for social justice and a model of leadership for me and leaders around the globe.  Born during the years of apartheid, he was a resilient democratic leader, peacemaker, and inspiring fighter for racial equality.   President Mandela never let his 27 years in prison deter him from doing what he knew was right by ending apartheid and bringing democracy to the country that he loved.

“Even in the face of extreme adversity, he has proven that with a noble cause and an eternal will, one person can change the tide of oppression, an entire country, and the world. Whether it was during his 27 years in prison or during his time as President of South Africa, he has demonstrated exceptional strength, supreme moral courage, and principled forgiveness.  People all around the world suffering from oppression, hatred, and discrimination will forever be grateful for the incredible leadership of Nelson Mandela.

“Although I did not have a chance to meet President Mandela, he has always been a role model to me and likewise was an inspiration to my father.  I am thankful for his tireless years of service, and for being an example of true leadership. My condolences and prayers go out to the Mandela family and to the country of South Africa as the entire world mourns such a great loss.  Although Madiba is gone, his work and the imprint he made on this world will never be forgotten.”