Congress Votes to Declassify Nelson Mandela as a Terrorist

The House and Senate voted last night to remove former South African President Nelson Mandela from U.S. terrorist watch lists, sending legislation to President Bush that would correct what Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has called an "embarrassing" error.

In April it was reported that Mandela appears on such lists, and needs special permission to visit the country, by virtue of his association with the African National Congress (ANC), the once-banned anti-Apartheid group he helped lead in South Africa. The U.S. had followed South Africa's lead in designating the group as a terrorist organization.

Mandela pushed for the group to militarize in 1960. At his 1961 treason trial, Mandela argued that the group had resorted to violence in its struggle against Apartheid only after the South African government left it no choice.

The House and Senate voted last night to declassify the ANC, and Mandela, as terrorists.

"Congress finally stands ready to rid U.S. immigration law of this anachronistic blight,