How George H W Bush recognised an ANC leader

An account of how former U.S. President George H W Bush moved to recognise an important leader of the struggle against apartheid. (Written upon Bush’s death.)

“I have been pleased today to welcome to the White House Mrs. Albertina Sisulu, of Soweto, South Africa… She personifies the struggle for human rights and human dignity, and her presence here is an inspiration to us all.”

In these words, former President George H.W. Bush – who died in Houston, Texas late on Friday – signalled to South Africans in the first months of his term in 1989 that he was willing to press more vigorously for an end to apartheid than President Ronald Reagan had in the previous eight years.

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