Nelson Mandela and other members of the African National Congress are on the US terrorist watchlist. ANC members who wish to travel to the USA have to get waivers from the State Department. The former South African Ambassador to the USA was flagged and delayed when she attempted to visit a dying cousin — by the time the red-tape had been cut, her cousin was dead.
"This is a country with which we now have excellent relations, South Africa, but it's frankly 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," Rice said.
Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., chairman of the House International Relations Committee, is pushing a bill that would remove current and former ANC leaders from the watch lists. Supporters hope to get it passed before Mandela's 90th birthday July 18.
"What an indignity," Berman said. "The ANC set an important example: It successfully made the change from armed struggle to peace. We should celebrate the transformation."