- The Washington Times - Monday, December 9, 2013

Even in death, Nelson Mandela is bringing political opponents together, as a bipartisan group of House members introduced a resolution Monday to honor his legacy.

The resolution is sponsored by two Republicans and three Democrats who are far apart on many other issues.

“This resolution is a tribute to a man whose life bettered the world,” said Rep. Edward R. Royce, California Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Rep. Eliot Engle of New York, the committee’s ranking Democrat, added that Mr. Mandela was “a man who will never be forgotten and will remain an inspiration for generations to come.”

Mr. Mandela, imprisoned for 27 years for militancy against South Africa’s apartheid regime, was freed in 1990 and set out to heal relations between the black majority and white-minority rulers. He was elected South Africa’s first black president four years later.

“He chose the path of truth and reconciliation over violence and famously said that, ‘As I walked out the [cell] door … to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison,” said Rep. Christopher H. Smith, New Jersey Republican and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa.

Rep. Karen Bass of California, the senior Democrat on the subcommittee, said: “In life, President Mandela taught us what it means to forgive. In death, he reminds us that the struggle for justice, freedom and peace must continue until all people … must be free to live from persecution, intimidation and violence.”

Mr. Mandela “taught us that we are greater together than the prejudices that divide us,” said Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, Ohio Democrat and chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus.