President George Bush has removed former South African president Nelson Mandela and his African National Congress from the US "terror watch list", the White House said on Tuesday.
The bill was sent to the White House last week and signed in time for the anti-apartheid leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner's 90th birthday on July 18.
"Today the United States moved closer at last to removing the great shame of dishonouring this great leader by including him on our government's terror watch list," Senator John Kerry said after the bill was approved on Friday.
When a similar bill passed the House of Representatives last month, Barbara Lee, a California Democrat who co-sponsored it, said she was "especially pleased we are taking this important step to finally right this inexcusable wrong."
Lee and others said the legislation introduced during the 1980s while Ronald Reagan was president was anachronistic and wrongfully labelled heroes and freedom fighters as terrorists.
Lee recalled that under the legislation the ANC could travel to United Nations headquarters in New York but not to Washington or other parts of the United States.
In April, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged a Senate committee to remove the restrictions on the ANC party, calling it 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".
Last Mod: 03 Temmuz 2008, 13:55