Statements from New Jersey leaders on the former South African president's death:

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D)

NJ Assembly Democrats Facebook

“In this age of many people being famous simply for bad behavior, it’s remarkable to consider the life of Nelson Mandela.

“This man wrongfully spent 27 years in prison yet emerged from that ordeal with a quiet strength powerful enough to heal a torn nation and bring people of all races and backgrounds together.

“He accomplished the seemingly impossible, and provided a model to the world of what it means to be a leader and to truly care about the wellbeing of everyone.

“His life and his accomplishments can never be forgotten.

“Along with the rest of the New Jersey General Assembly, I mourn the passing of this legendary man, but do so hoping his words and actions will always serve as examples to us all on how to make this world a better place.”

Senate President Steve Sweeney (D):

"Who among us would have endured 30 years of abuse, torture, and confinement only to emerge looking for equality and peace? Lesser people would have succumbed to seeking out vengeance after experiencing such horror, but not Nelson Mandela. He persevered and sought to mold the world into a place where everyone can live, work and play together in peace. He was a truly great man who took the injustices created by Apartheid and used it to show the world what can happen when people fight against inequality."

John E. Harmon, Sr., President & CEO African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey,


"Nelson Mandela was one of the world's most courageous leaders, and truly understood the significance of leveraging the power of the silent majority; and through their awakening transformed a nation.

His personal sacrifice had an impact that was not self-serving; a lesson that many of today's leaders should embrace".