CHICAGO—The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, national representative of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam, issued the following statement today on the passing of Mr. Nelson Mandela, the former political prisoner, president of South Africa, leader of the anti-apartheid struggle and African National Congress. Minister Farrakhan met Mr. Mandela in 1993 in Chicago when the then-president of the African National Congress was raising funds for voter education prior to the country’s first multiracial election in 1994. The Minister donated to that cause. Following the Million Man March, Minister Farrakhan and President Mandela met in 1996 at the president’s private residence in the Houghton District of Johannesburg, South Africa, where Mr. Mandela received only his most distinguished state visitors. The warm visit with the Minister and a Nation of Islam delegation was an important stop on a 28-nation World Friendship Tour.
“All of us who benefited from the life, and the times, and the work of our beloved brother, ‘Madiba’ Nelson Mandela, thank Almighty God Allah for bringing that great man through his beloved mother and father and making him the giant that he ultimately became.
“We thank Allah God for the power of the former president and the former political prisoner Nelson Mandela’s words and the power of his deeds to see South Africa become “free.” But the work that he did needs to be completed and it will not be completed until land taken from Black South Africans is returned to Black South Africans, and the wealth that is under the foot of South Africans that has been appropriated to others comes back to the indigenous people to whom that wealth belongs.
“On behalf of myself, my family and the entire Nation of Islam, we offer condolences to the Mandela family and the nation of South Africa at this time of our great loss. However, as Muslims we are taught in the Holy Qur’an ‘speak not of those who die or are slain in the path of God as dead, they are alive but we perceive not.’ The cause that Mr. Mandela lived for is eternal. We who love and respect him must pick up that cause and complete the work that he devoted his life to.”