Councilman presses Anne Arundel resolution to honor Mandela

The Anne Arundel County Council unanimously passed a resolution honoring the late Nelson Mandela on Monday night, after Councilman Daryl Jones made a personal appeal.

Jones recalled his time as a college student in the 1980s, when he lobbied the University of Maryland to cut its financial ties with companies doing business in South Africa, which operated under apartheid at the time.

Around the same time, Jones said, then-Mayor Richard Hillman of Annapolis was arrested during anti-apartheid demonstrations in Washington. All the while, Anne Arundel County’s government spurned requests to divest from companies doing business in South Africa, Jones said.

Several people spoke in favor of the Mandela resolution at Monday’s council meeting in Annapolis.

“I believe he stands for the best principles of humankind,” said Eugene Peterson, a former school board member from Laurel.

On Dec. 9, the Annapolis city council also approved a resolution honoring Mandela.

Mandela, a political prisoner for 27 years, worked with South African President F.W. de Klerk to end apartheid after his release. In 1994, he was elected as South Africa’s first black president. Mandela died Dec. 5 at the age of 95.

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