Barbara Lee will attend Nelson Mandela’s funeral

Rep. Barbara Lee will be part of the official congressional delegation to Johannesburg, South Africa to attend memorial services for former President Nelson Mandela on Tuesday.

The 23-member delegation will be joined there by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; former President Bill Clinton; former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura; and former President Jimmy Carter.

Lee, D-Oakland, led the 2008 effort in Congress to remove Mandela and the African National Congress from the U.S. Terrorist Watch List in time for Mandela’s 90th birthday:

She also was a member of the host committee for Mandela’s 1990 visit to Oakland, and served as an official election observer in South Africa during Mandela’s first election as president in 1994.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    This is a great honor for BarLee ( spake 4 me). When Mandela met her, he must have realized that only in America could a mediocrity from a disadvantaged background rise to power.

  • Elwood

    Hopefully, she won’t f**k up the funeral too badly.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Overheard at Jo’burg airport: “Who’s this Lee woman? Is she a White House servant?”
    “I don’t think so. Probably a fundraiser. Still, I wish they sent Beyoncé instead.”

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Watch this space for BaLee’s take on fake sign- language interpreters, “selfies” and other hot topics.