Statement on the Passing of Former South African President Nelson Mandela
“Twenty-five years ago, amidst the struggle against Apartheid, I volunteered as a teacher at an all-girls high school in South Africa. Nelson Mandela was still in prison, and black South Africans were still denied the right to vote. I taught English, math, history and science to my students, but I knew my true work was in educating the next generation of black South African women to be ready to lead in a new South Africa. Mandela’s unrelenting strength and courage made this dream a reality for my students and their families.
Today, with his passing, we lost one of the greatest moral leaders of our time. Mandela's legacy of struggle and leadership will be remembered along with those of Gandhi and King as among the most important toward ending government-sponsored racism throughout the world.
My heart goes out to my South African friends and all those around the world who helped bring an end to Apartheid. May we all continue to find inspiration for fighting injustice from Mandela’s dedication to freedom, equality, and forgiveness.”
- Attorney General Lisa Madigan