Half-Nelson grip on the embassy

The Mayor of Washington, Marion Barry, this week introduced legislation to rename the street outside the South Africa Embassy “Nelson and Winnie Mandela Avenue”.

“For more than 20 years, the Mandelas have been the subject of oppression that has denied them the basic rights that many of us take for granted,” Barry said. “We cannot sit idly by while such oppression continues.”

The proposed Bill is a first step in the legislative procedure, including approval by congress, that could take several months to complete.

The move “will send a clear message to the world that those of us in the nation’s capital fully support the efforts to free Mandela and all black South Africans,” Barry any said.

There was no immediate comment from the South African Embassy. A precedent was set last week when a section of a street on which the Soviet Embassy is located was renamed “Andrei Sakharov”, after the Soviet human rights activist condemned to internal exile in 1980. — SAPA-Reuter.

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