Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement on the death of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected president:

“The world has lost a humble, courageous and generous man.  One of democracy’s strongest champions, Nelson Mandela selflessly served South Africa.  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.  Most impressively, he elected to serve a single presidential term, turning over power he assuredly could have kept.  When others remained silent, Mandela spoke out against Mugabe’s tyranny in neighboring Zimbabwe. His message of reconciliation must endure.” 

Note: From 1997 to 2004 Royce chaired the Subcommittee on Africa, working to promote democracy and the rule of law in Africa.  Leading a congressional delegation, he met with President Mandela in 1997 in South Africa.