Under the Dome

December 5, 2013

Coble recalls meeting with Mandela

Rep. Howard Coble, who met Nelson Mandela in 1990, remembered him as man who did not express "any bitterness or resentment." Coble called his meeting with Mandela "one of the highlights of my life." Mandela died Thursday at the age of 95.

Among the many remembrances of Nelson Mandela after his death on Thursday was one from U.S. Rep. Howard Coble, who recalled spending an evening with him not long after Mandela was released from 27 years in prison in 1990.

Coble said that Mandela “never expressed any bitterness or resentment” despite his long years in prison.

The longtime Republican congressman from Greensboro visited South Africa and stayed in the home of William Swing of Lexington, N.C., during the time that Swing was ambassador from 1989-1992, said his spokesman, Ed McDonald in a statement.

McDonald said Coble visited South Africa Aug. 30 to Sept. 8, 1990. Mandela was released from prison in February of that year.

Coble said he went with Swing to a private dinner where Mandela was the guest of honor.

“To have the opportunity to spend an evening with this world figure and to listen to him speak is one of the highlights of my life,” Coble said in a statement. “On behalf of the citizens of the Sixth District of North Carolina, I express my condolences to the family of Nelson Mandela and the people of South Africa on the loss of a true historic legend.”

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