The Thabo Mbeki Foundation has heard with great sadness the news that former U.S. Congressman Ron Dellums has passed away.
Ron Dellums, Esteemed Member of the Order of the Companions of O R. Tambo, was one of the outstanding leaders of the powerful U.S. anti-apartheid movement which made an indelible contribution to the defeat of the apartheid regime and therefore our transition to democracy.
As part of that struggle, Congressman Dellums introduced in the U.S. Congress the seminal Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act (CAAA) which Congress adopted in 1986.
The then U.S. President Ronald Reagan vetoed the Bill. However, so strong had the anti-apartheid movement become, even within the U.S. Congress, that both the House of Representatives and the Senate overrode the Presidential veto and the CAAA came into force.
In 1990 Nelson Mandela visited Ron Dellums’ home town, Oakland, California. In his welcome address at the Oakland Coliseum Congressman Dellums said:
“We made history. We went to make history, not to make headlines. We want Nelson Mandela and the people of South Africa to know that we will stand shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip, until apartheid is eradicated. Sisters and brothers, it is fascinating, it is historic, it is symbolic, that this son of Africa comes at this moment to remind us of the unfinished business of ending apartheid in South Africa and racism in America, sexism in America, all forms of chauvinism in America.”
Ron Dellums remained true to these words until he passed away a few days ago. In him we have lost a true and principled ally and fellow-combatant for freedom.
We convey our sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
May our steadfast partner for freedom, justice and peace, Congressman Ron Dellums, rest in eternal peace!
Issued by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation.
3 August, 2018.