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09 Apr 2008 17:38
United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday it was time to remove former South African president Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress (ANC) from a US blacklist drawn up during the apartheid era.
“I really do hope that we can remove these restrictions on the ANC,” Rice told a Senate committee, referring to the blacklist.
“This is a country with which we have now excellent relations,” Rice said.
“But it is really a rather embarrassing matter that I still have to waive in my own counterpart, the foreign minister of South Africa, not to mention the great leader, Nelson Mandela,” she said.
Howard Berman, chairperson of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, recently introduced a Bill aimed at removing from any US databases “any notation that would characterise the ANC and its leaders as terrorists”, his website said.
“It is shameful that the United States still treats the ANC this way based solely on its designation as a terrorist organisation by the old apartheid South African regime,” Berman said in a statement last Friday.
“Amazingly, Nelson Mandela still needs to get a special waiver to enter the United States based on his courageous leadership of the ANC. What an indignity.
This legislation will wipe it away,” he said.
No date has been given for voting on the Bill, which the House committee believes will be easily adopted in Congress, with support from the US State Department.—AFP
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