Nelson Mandela: The Homecoming


Nelson Mandela: The Homecoming

David Dimbleby introduces coverage of the late Nelson Mandela's final journey back to Qunu, the village where he spent his childhood, in preparation for his state funeral.


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Transcript


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Good evening and welcome to Pretoria, the ninth day of mourning

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for Nelson Mandela gave us a revealing and different glimpse of

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Mandela's life, not Mandela the statesman acclaimed by President

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Obama on Tuesday at the FNB Stadium in Soweto. Not Mandela mourned by

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the thousands of South Africans who filed past his coffin over the past

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three days. But Nelson Mandela, the freedom fighter, reclaimed by the

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organisation that was his home, the ANC, the African National Congress.

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It was the ANC which fought the battle against apartheid, first

:01:22.:01:24.

peacefully and then under Mandela's leadership, by adopting a policy of

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violence. A policy which led to his 27 and a half years of imprisonment.

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It was the ANC which took the lead in negotiating the abolition of

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apartheid. And it is the ANC which now forms the government of South

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Africa. All sections of the ANC came to sing his praises and tell the

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story of the struggle, MK, the military wing of the ANC was here,

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the commonest party, fighters for women's writes, members of the

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Mandela family and President Jacob Zuma who himself spent ten years in

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prison on Robben Island. After the sendoff ceremony was over,

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Mandela's coffin was placed in the hold of a huge C130 for a short

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flight to Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. Just after midday, the plane

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took off and Mandela left the capital Pretoria for the last time.

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Already at face macro, a human chain had formed, an informal guard of

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honour, with people waiting for his coffin to come past. They did not

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have to wait too long because the hearse made its way along the road

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to Mandela's home village of Qunu where the funeral will take place

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early tomorrow morning. George Alagiah is in Qunu tonight. It may

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be just a couple of hours flight from Pretoria, but the atmosphere

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here in Qunu could not be more different. It is a bit like going

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back in time. Nelson Mandela made the journey several times himself

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when he was the president. He often said at heart he was a country boy.

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All eyes are now on a small patch of land behind me. It is unremarkable

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to look at but after this, it will be forever remembered as the last

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resting place for one of the world's greatest statesman. From

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where I am standing, I can just about see into Nelson Mandela's

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family compound. The big white structure, that is the massive

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marquee which will host the funeral itself. Away from the compound, in

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the hills and villages around, there is a real sense that their most

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famous son has finally come home. There is a tradition here that a

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person must be buried near where their umbilical chord was buried

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when they were born. So there is nothing exceptional about Mr Mandela

:03:57.:04:03.

being buried here. Organising an international event in a remote area

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like this would be tough at the best of times, but the organisers have

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had to put up with some torrential rain over the last few days, as

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heavy as anyone can remember at this time of year. I hope that gives you

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some idea of this corner of the Eastern Cape, which, in a few hours,

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will become the focus of global attention. When they have spoken

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about it, the Mandela family themselves have said they do not

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want this home to become a place of pilgrimage. I suppose they wanted to

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stay what it was for Mr Mandela himself, a private place where his

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then some of his happiest times. George, thank you very much. We will

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be joining George Alagiah from time to time over today and tomorrow. I'm

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joined by three guests here, Moeletsi Mbeki, a political analyst

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who is the brother of the former president Thabo Mbeki. Yvonne

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Muthien who is chair of the President's Advisory Council, and

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Dial Dayana Ndima, who is a cultural and traditional expert, experts on

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traditions anyway. Let's deal with today's events. What was the message

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of today's events compared with those of the previous ceremonies in

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the last four days? I thought the message was essentially the ANC

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recounting Nelson Mandela's role as an activist in the ANC. That is how

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I understood it. Although, of course, there has been some kind of

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confusion as to whether we were dealing with the ANC or the South

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African government. This has been one of the problems. But I thought

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today it was essentially the ANC on its own saying farewell to Mandela.

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And not using it as a political platform for the elections next

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year, being dead straight in doing it. I thought they were straight.

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The elections are months to come. I did not think it would have any

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impact, even if they tried to use it for elections. Yvonne Muthien, what

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did you make of it? It is important to remember that Mandela himself

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said that he was a leader who was chosen by the ANC and that he was a

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disciplined member of the ANC. And so the success of the struggle, the

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negotiations that led to him becoming president was due to the

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ANC. He always used that word disciplined, he said I am a

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disciplined member and then he took the lead and consulted them after.

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He also argued that he leads from behind and yet he was very much on

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the front line. When MK was formed, the military wing, he was one of the

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first to go out to receive military training. And yes, he was a very

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determined man. But what does disciplined means? That he does what

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he is told? He gets them to agree? Indeed. Once he has made up his

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mind, he has a clear idea of what he wants to achieve. He does listen but

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then he does what he needs to do anyway. Professor, I will talk to

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you in a moment about another aspect of this ceremony which people are

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intrigued about which is the tribal elders but first of all, let's have

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a look at what did happen today. The day began at Waterkloof Air Force

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Base. It was a very emotional day organised by the ANC, the

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organisation which Nelson Mandela belonged to for most of his adult

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life. The cortege carrying Nelson

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Mandela's coffin arrived at Waterkloof Air Force Base for a

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sendoff from the African National Congress, for its last journey home

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to Qunu. Over 1000 people were there. Among them, President Zuma,

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Mandela's widow, Graca and his second wife, Winnie. The coffin was

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draped with the flag of South Africa but was replaced with the flag of

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the ANC for the ceremony. The service began with the National

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Anthem, accompanied on a solo violin.

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The verses of the National Anthem son, as always, in five of the 11

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languages most commonly sung here. The first tribute was from the trade

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union movement. We have come here today to give our final sendoff to a

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soldier who did his work for the ANC with exceptional devotion and

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excellence. As I was struggling in my mind as to what to say on this

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occasion today, I came across a piece of a paper entitled I am free.

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It says, don't cry for me now I am free. I am following the path God

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laid for me, I took his hand when I heard him call, I turned my back and

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left it all. I could not stay another day to love, to laugh, work

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or play, past left undone must stay that way, I found peace at the close

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of day. If my passing has left a void, then fill it, with remembering

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joy, friendship shared, I laugh, a kiss, oh yes, the things I too will

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miss. We want to take a few minutes to

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send our deepest condolences to Graca Machel, the Mandela family, to

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the South African nation, the whole African continent, the world and

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also the African National Congress, Mr President, for giving us this

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brilliant revolutionaries. May you continue to produce many more

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revolutionaries and may his fighting spirit live on. Long live the spirit

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of comrades Nelson Mandela! Long-lived! Forward revolution

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forward! Thank you. Next we heard from Mandla Mandela who was to

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accompany his grandfather's coffin back to Qunu.

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Some years back, when I was only a youngster, I used to hear youth in

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Soweto shouting. And I used to think I was the popular kid, because my

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name was being shouted. More profound, they used to say these are

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Mandela, Viva. And I used to say my name and my surname in the same day,

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I must be very important! Naive I was because I was just a

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nine-year-old boy. My president, for the past three days, I have sat with

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my grandfather while he has been lying in state. I have witnessed his

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army, I have witnessed his people, I have witnessed ordinary South

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Africans who walked this Long Walk To Freedom with him. And I can

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assure the African National Congress today, that the future of this

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country looks bright. Thank you very much, Mandla.

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The people's poet recited in honour of Mandela. In 1912, the African

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National Congress was born. The movement grew from strength to

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strength, from urban to rural, from rural to the farms, from farms to

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the hinterlands, from the hinterlands to the valleys. In

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Africa, the greatest survivor, the survivor who survived all episodes

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from assassinations, imprisonments, poisoning, orders, banishment,

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cross-border raids. 100 years of exploitation and oppression. 100

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years against injustice and tyranny, the ANC for better life,

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the ANC for total emancipation. The movement produced the current test

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of the leaders, the movement of people, the movement of

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visionaries, the spear of the nation, MK at unleashed telling

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blows. We salute the first black president of a democratic South

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Africa. I dedicate this poem to the heroes of the struggle. My praising

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cannot be complete unless I dedicate this praise to comrades Oliver

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Tambo. The movement has survived all kinds of tragedies from infiltration

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to abuse, from abuse to betrayal, from betrayal to resistance, from

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resistance to resilience, from resilience to power and from power

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to freedom! After those words, composed specially for today, Jacob

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Zuma delivered his tribute. Today we are saying to Madiba, as

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you came as a young man in Johannesburg, today, having

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departed, we are now sending you back to a village at Qunu. We want

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you to rest in peace there. We want you to always remember and guide

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us. We are happy that we were still young -- we who are still young will

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join you later, as you promised to establish a branch of the ANC, we

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will join you there. Tomorrow we will be saying a final

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goodbye to Madiba at Qunu, and I'm sure that many of us will be there.

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We would like to say to Madiba, go well, Tata. You have played your

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part, you have made your contribution. We will always

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remember you, we will always keep you in our hearts. We will always

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learn from your lessons. Amandla! After his speech, President Zuma led

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the audience in a song specially written for the 100th anniversary of

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the ANC. Finally, a vote of thanks from the

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Mandela family. The Mandela family is not the only

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family that had to share their leader, their father, their

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grandfather with the African National Congress. Jacob Zuma, Thabo

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Mbeki and all the former presidents of the African National Congress and

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their families had to undergo gruelling sacrifice during those

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days, and I would like to thank them as well.

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APPLAUSE Good morning. We would also like to

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thank the organisers of this event. Although our grandfather is

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receiving a state funeral, the ANC was quite adamant in having this

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ceremony, and we would like to thank you for this glorious sendoff. We

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would like to thank all the ordinary members of the ANC. These past few

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days have been quite difficult, and there were a lot of people who

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ensured that people were fed and people were well taken care of. We

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would like to thank you. I must say, from the numbers I see here

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today, that next year's election should be quite a successful one!

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CHEERS As we take our grandfather back to his final resting place, you

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can be sure that there is a commitment from us that when he

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arrives to the gates of heaven, he will arrive there with his

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membership card close to him. Thank you.

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And so ended the ANC farewell to Mandela. His close friend and fellow

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prisoner joined other ANC party members to escort the coffin out of

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the hangar at the airbase. And so the ANC, having said their

:21:29.:21:45.

final goodbyes, the military takeover. Nelson Mandela's last

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journey to his homeland, to Mthatha airport in the Eastern Cape.

:21:51.:22:09.

Moeletsi Mbeki, do you feel the ANC think they have achieved everything

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they set out to achieve? No, I don't think so. I think

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Mandela's generation felt they achieved what they set out to

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achieve, which was to get rid of apartheid and to initiate a

:22:58.:23:03.

constitutional, democratic constitution for South Africa. That

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is what they set out to achieve, that is Mandela's generation, Walter

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Sisulu, my father, all those people. Their assignment was not to change

:23:16.:23:19.

the economy of South Africa. It was a very specific task that they gave

:23:20.:23:24.

themselves. Now the ANC is in different hands, it is no longer in

:23:25.:23:28.

the Mandela generation. It is in a younger generation, as President

:23:29.:23:34.

Zuma pointed out, and it has a different assignment. We have a

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democratic country, we have a democratic constitution, but we have

:23:40.:23:45.

hugely different problems, poverty and so on. Because there does seem

:23:46.:23:53.

to be a feeling among ANC members, not the people like you who actually

:23:54.:23:57.

work within the ANC, but the people who vote for the ANC, that somehow

:23:58.:24:03.

apartheid went, as Moeletsi Mbeki says, but what has followed has not

:24:04.:24:08.

been at inspiring or exciting. Yes, there has been rising expectations,

:24:09.:24:15.

and in terms of service delivery, there have been huge challenges. The

:24:16.:24:22.

ideals set out in the constitution make, essentially, very large

:24:23.:24:28.

promises, and 20 years is clearly not sufficient to deliver on those

:24:29.:24:36.

ideals. So the ANC now being the ruling partly, it does have a

:24:37.:24:43.

responsibility to not just grow democracy or consolidates democracy,

:24:44.:24:49.

but also to grow the economy and to make sure that youth unemployment

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goes down, that the educational system is improved. Do you think

:24:53.:24:58.

people expected faster progress than the ANC has been able to deliver?

:24:59.:25:03.

Most certainly. Why so difficult, then? Well, I think the ruling

:25:04.:25:08.

party, and certainly many of us who went into government during

:25:09.:25:15.

Mandela's time, had underestimated the deep-rooted legacies of

:25:16.:25:20.

apartheid, and we had also underestimated the scale of the

:25:21.:25:27.

transition that we would have to affect, and you can rarely do that

:25:28.:25:37.

in a 20 year period. It would take half a century. Because you were

:25:38.:25:40.

involved in the kind of creation of the image of the state, when chewed

:25:41.:25:44.

you might in charge of designing flags, medals, goodness knows what,

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so you must have been thinking, we are on our way. Most certainly,

:25:50.:26:00.

there was a great deal of optimism, but there were dedicated men and

:26:01.:26:06.

women who slogged and worked really hard at putting in the key pillars

:26:07.:26:14.

of the new democratic state. And we needed to create a new national

:26:15.:26:22.

identity, a need for new national symbols. Did you expect the degree

:26:23.:26:26.

of corruption that people complain about? It seems to have gone on in a

:26:27.:26:32.

different way, not just failing to deliver but also the allegations

:26:33.:26:35.

against President Zuma and many members of the ANC in government,

:26:36.:26:39.

that they have lined their pockets or their families' pockets? Well...

:26:40.:26:47.

Well, to tell you the honest truth, I didn't. The ANC had been a key

:26:48.:26:52.

organisation, I was in exile for nearly 30 years with the ANC, I

:26:53.:26:56.

never had any evidence of corruption in the ANC. So it was a huge shock

:26:57.:27:02.

to me, anyway, when I started seeing the corruption, and the first

:27:03.:27:08.

corruption I came across was my company, which was a construction

:27:09.:27:15.

company, it wanted to rebuild, to modernise a university by providing

:27:16.:27:18.

proper accommodation for students and a new shopping centre. And it

:27:19.:27:24.

turned out that the land that belongs to the municipality where we

:27:25.:27:29.

were going to build the new shopping centre, the mayor was an ANC mayor

:27:30.:27:33.

anti-had already soldered, illegally, to some business friend.

:27:34.:27:42.

-- and he had already sold it. Let's go back to the celebrations, the

:27:43.:27:46.

huge achievements of apartheid coming to an end and the courage

:27:47.:27:50.

that was shown, but tomorrow, Professor, we go into a slightly

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different gear, because Mandela's body is now in Qunu, and people are

:27:55.:27:59.

fascinated by what happens now and by what the tribal members of the

:28:00.:28:03.

Thembu tribe will do. Can you explain what it is that happens now

:28:04.:28:07.

that the body is out of the hands of the state Schumacher... That is what

:28:08.:28:21.

happens when a member of the family dies away from home, when he is

:28:22.:28:25.

eventually delivered home, he is received by the elders, who then

:28:26.:28:35.

speak to the body, receiving it, and telling the body the way forward. Do

:28:36.:28:39.

they actually speak out loud to the body, who do they whisper? What

:28:40.:28:47.

happens? They speed light to it. -- they speak loud do it. What will

:28:48.:28:52.

they be saying? It is not something that is cast in stone, it will

:28:53.:28:56.

differ from area to area, from family to family, but the sense is

:28:57.:29:01.

the same. It is that we, your children, your brothers, are now

:29:02.:29:11.

receiving new home for the burial. -- receiving you home. They will be

:29:12.:29:16.

speaking in that way. But would they say, for instance, when he went

:29:17.:29:20.

aboard the plane, would they have been saying... It is difficult to

:29:21.:29:24.

imagine, are they saying, we are going to your home? They would say

:29:25.:29:31.

those things? That is exactly right. When they collected the body, they

:29:32.:29:36.

say the same thing. You are among friends, do not worry, we are taking

:29:37.:29:42.

you home. Yes. And at the funeral, what happens? They go on talking to

:29:43.:29:49.

him? Yes, at the funeral, the same thing, before the body is finally

:29:50.:29:54.

buried, they would talk to the body, now we are taking you to that

:29:55.:29:59.

final resting place we promised to take you to, this is now the time.

:30:00.:30:04.

We will see all of that tomorrow, but let's just have a look at the

:30:05.:30:07.

journey from here in Pretoria to Qunu. It did not take more than an

:30:08.:30:12.

hour and a half or so for the plane to get there, and there, at Mthatha

:30:13.:30:19.

airport, Graca Machel and Winnie, and thousands from his homeland in

:30:20.:30:23.

the Eastern Cape, the place where he came from, were waiting to catch a

:30:24.:30:27.

final glimpse of their hero as the plane came in.

:30:28.:30:36.

A very different countryside here. The Greenhills near where Mr Mandela

:30:37.:30:46.

lived, where he was brought up and that he remembered so fondly. People

:30:47.:30:54.

were waiting but there was a national ceremonial guard here and

:30:55.:31:00.

the band. And also a guard of honour to greet the coffin when the plane

:31:01.:31:02.

finally came to a halt. The pallbearers are senior officers

:31:03.:31:22.

of the Navy, the air force and the army. The band playing and the guard

:31:23.:31:32.

of honour dressed in green. The band in red. All the bands across South

:31:33.:31:42.

Africa are in red so they can join together in one huge ceremonial

:31:43.:31:46.

band. The guard of honour are carrying Lee Enfield rifles, those

:31:47.:31:52.

old-fashioned World War II rifles with bayonets fixed, much easier to

:31:53.:31:54.

do drill with than the modern ones. The Hearst roars up and the bearer

:31:55.:32:13.

party of warrant officers will go into receive the coffin -- the

:32:14.:32:19.

hearse draws up. And then the chaplain will in effect, welcomed

:32:20.:32:20.

the body. The flag of the union of South

:32:21.:33:03.

Africa now has replaced the ANC flag which we saw earlier when the coffin

:33:04.:33:12.

was in Pretoria at that ANC rally. We want to thank you this day for

:33:13.:33:17.

Madiba, that he is safely returned to his home province. We want to

:33:18.:33:23.

thank you for the amazing person, human being that he was. And we want

:33:24.:33:28.

to ask you that you will help us all to have the same spirit of

:33:29.:33:34.

reconciliation, the same attitude of forgiveness and a similar vision for

:33:35.:33:40.

the new South Africa. We want to ask that you will comfort and strengthen

:33:41.:33:46.

and sustain or his family members, relatives, friends and all of us,

:33:47.:33:50.

this day and during this time of sorrow and morning. We make this

:33:51.:33:54.

prayer in your name, amen. Winnie and Graca Machel, comforting

:33:55.:36:37.

each other as they have been over these past few days, whenever they

:36:38.:36:42.

have appeared together in public, and indeed, when Mr Mandela was ill

:36:43.:36:48.

in his home in Houghton, they were frequently there together as well.

:36:49.:37:01.

And so with its military guard running after it, the hearse leaves

:37:02.:37:07.

the runway and sets off on the journey, not a long journey, to

:37:08.:37:14.

Qunu, Nelson Mandela's homeland, Nelson Mandela's home, I should say,

:37:15.:37:18.

the place where he built the house when he came out of jail and wanted

:37:19.:37:30.

to live quietly in retirement. She recently, a strange sight, those

:37:31.:37:38.

carriers which were used in Soweto during the rights to suppress

:37:39.:37:42.

trouble and they are now here taking part in the procession of the coffin

:37:43.:37:53.

followed by the family. Once again, Graca helped into her car by Winnie.

:37:54.:38:11.

After that rather impressive, formal reception of the coffin, the scene

:38:12.:38:18.

changes. My goodness, the reaction here was different really from

:38:19.:38:23.

Pretoria when the procession was going up to the union buildings.

:38:24.:38:29.

This was a much more exuberant reception. Definitely. These are

:38:30.:38:37.

villagers say they express themselves I suppose, more

:38:38.:38:42.

spontaneously. And he is their man, they are proud of him coming back.

:38:43.:38:48.

He's coming home and they are very proud that they have produced a

:38:49.:38:49.

leader of that calibre. All the way along the route,

:38:50.:39:10.

wherever there was a village, there were crowds. It is like a wasteland

:39:11.:39:16.

to go through, just a few houses and you know it well, Professor, this

:39:17.:39:23.

route to Qunu? Yes, I know it. These people on the sides here, they are

:39:24.:39:29.

farm workers, rural people on the whole? Are the industries here, is

:39:30.:39:44.

their work for people here? Yes, but mostly they are peasants from the

:39:45.:39:45.

village. A guard of honour here. There is

:39:46.:40:01.

nobody to hold back. And so he comes to Qunu, yes? That is right. That is

:40:02.:40:11.

his home. And that is his house? Yes. And tonight, the body is in the

:40:12.:40:19.

house, is that right? Yes. And with the family? What happens? Normally,

:40:20.:40:27.

there is a vigil. What does that consist of? Individual consists of

:40:28.:40:32.

the locals, ordinary people, where they will keep awake, sitting

:40:33.:40:46.

around, next to the coffin. And sitting in silence or talking to

:40:47.:40:49.

each other? Praying or just being there. Nowadays it is mostly singing

:40:50.:40:59.

and praying. And religious presence prayers said or not? Yes, why I am

:41:00.:41:07.

saying nowadays is it is mostly religious singing, Kristian songs.

:41:08.:41:13.

What did it used to be? It comes from a culture of the African

:41:14.:41:20.

religion which was different. It was being kept by the elders. Is there

:41:21.:41:27.

an element of that still or is that gradually fading away, the role of

:41:28.:41:31.

the Elders? It is not fading, but now there has been the edition with

:41:32.:41:39.

the addition of the Christian version. But the elders are still

:41:40.:41:45.

part of it. Do you feel it is strong that element? The Christian

:41:46.:41:51.

religion? No, the role of the elders? The slaughter of the

:41:52.:41:59.

animals. Cultural tradition lasts a very long time. Culture brings

:42:00.:42:03.

comfort during time of mourning. Even though the younger generation

:42:04.:42:08.

does not literally always believe in all elements, there is great comfort

:42:09.:42:15.

from following the rituals. In the case of this elder statesman, they

:42:16.:42:20.

assume even higher symbolic significance. Does it make

:42:21.:42:26.

difficulty for government if you have different sources of power, if

:42:27.:42:31.

you have local power in this region and then you are trying to run the

:42:32.:42:37.

modern government? There are constitutional relationships between

:42:38.:42:39.

these different structures, so there is actually a system of how they

:42:40.:42:44.

interface with one another. And remember, the traditional leadership

:42:45.:42:51.

is paid by the government. You mean they do what they are told? I do not

:42:52.:42:57.

know! But they are paid. People who are paid normally do as they are

:42:58.:43:03.

told but not always. One forgets that Mandela's father defied the

:43:04.:43:07.

government, defied the authorities when Mandela was only one-year-old.

:43:08.:43:12.

He defied the magistrate. He lost his land. This was under British

:43:13.:43:19.

rule, he lost as land, lost his cattle and they had to move from the

:43:20.:43:23.

town where he was born to Qunu. Anyway, we will go back to that

:43:24.:43:28.

later on. One of the places the funeral cortege passed through was

:43:29.:43:34.

Ultra City. And in the crowd was Fergal Keane. All week long, people

:43:35.:43:39.

have been waiting for this moment, the point when Nelson Mandela's

:43:40.:43:44.

cortege will arrive back in his own place. It is expected any moment now

:43:45.:43:49.

to pass through here. There is a real sense of celebration of his

:43:50.:43:56.

life. We have been talking to people in the crowd throughout the morning.

:43:57.:44:00.

Many got up after midnight just to get here. They have travelled

:44:01.:44:04.

hundreds of kilometres. What does it mean to you to be here? Basically

:44:05.:44:11.

everything. It is part of who we are, part of our heritage, part of

:44:12.:44:16.

my children's lives, this is our future, being together with all of

:44:17.:44:20.

these people as part of our future. Showing my children where and how

:44:21.:44:29.

somebody might pass, and not having to worry about anything or anybody.

:44:30.:44:34.

Freedom is the most important thing. Without that, what do we have? We

:44:35.:44:40.

have nothing without freedom. There are many children and young people

:44:41.:44:44.

here, part of what is called in South Africa, the born free

:44:45.:44:48.

generation, those who grew up after the end of apartheid, and after the

:44:49.:44:57.

end of nonracial elections in 1994. It is now about 30 minutes until the

:44:58.:45:03.

cortege is expected to pass here. The atmosphere is very relaxed, you

:45:04.:45:06.

can see that the police have been gently asking people to move back, a

:45:07.:45:10.

lot of the time without much success!

:45:11.:45:26.

Now we can see the police outriders and the cortege arriving here. There

:45:27.:45:33.

is a great surge from the crowd. People are chanting, go well, spirit

:45:34.:45:37.

of the nation. You have just seen Nelson Mandela

:45:38.:45:49.

passed to his final journey, what is your feeling at this moment? I am

:45:50.:45:54.

happy and sad at the same time. It is an exciting moment for me,

:45:55.:45:58.

because it is the first time I have seen them, but it is the last time I

:45:59.:46:02.

will see him at the same time, which really hurts me, because he has done

:46:03.:46:06.

a lot for our country, he has made it possible for a number of

:46:07.:46:09.

different races to sit in the same classes and given us a better

:46:10.:46:13.

opportunity in life. Thank you very, very much.

:46:14.:46:17.

Nelson Mandela always said he wanted to be buried in Qunu, I talked to

:46:18.:46:22.

him some years ago about what it was that made this place so very

:46:23.:46:29.

important to him. A narrow grassy valley crisscrossed

:46:30.:46:33.

by clear streams and overlooked by green hills. Nelson Mandela's

:46:34.:46:39.

description of Qunu, the small village in the Eastern Cape where he

:46:40.:46:43.

spent his happiest childhood days. Even as he played there, though,

:46:44.:46:48.

hence could be seen of the man he would become. As a boy, you know, in

:46:49.:46:56.

the countryside, I was one of the most experts stick fighters, but I

:46:57.:47:03.

fought boys, never people who would resist me. I cannot fight somebody

:47:04.:47:07.

who does not resist me. I want to fight somebody who can fight me

:47:08.:47:13.

back. During his time there, he learnt about his heritage. My father

:47:14.:47:20.

was a traditional leader, and both he and my mother had never been to

:47:21.:47:26.

school. And therefore they taught me about the traditions, the customs of

:47:27.:47:33.

our people. The way they taught me about the old stories of bravery

:47:34.:47:40.

amongst our people, you know, I wished I had lived during those

:47:41.:47:50.

days. And they really inspired me. Mandela's father died when he was

:47:51.:47:54.

nine, and he moved away from Qunu and became the ward of the chief of

:47:55.:48:01.

the Thembu clan. Returning 60 years later on his release from prison,

:48:02.:48:09.

Mandela was keen to see Qunu again. My whole world was around this

:48:10.:48:16.

place, but as I grew up, it extended. My roots have not left

:48:17.:48:22.

home, but my gaze is beyond the horizon. He built a home in Qunu and

:48:23.:48:27.

settled once more in the place where his journey had begun.

:48:28.:48:34.

What does this place, Qunu, mean to you? Oh, it means a lot in the sense

:48:35.:48:40.

that I was brought here when I was a baby, and this is where I grew up.

:48:41.:48:48.

So these hills are your home? Oh, yes. It evokes very pleasant

:48:49.:48:55.

memories, my being here. What memories? Of childhood, the stones

:48:56.:49:01.

were used to play, see those dreams? There are stones there where I used

:49:02.:49:09.

to play as a child. The rivers where I fished, they broke very happy

:49:10.:49:16.

memories. Whenever I die, I will be buried here. This is where I am

:49:17.:49:23.

going to be buried. Very adamant that he was going to be

:49:24.:49:27.

buried in Qunu. There was a great dispute, some members of his family,

:49:28.:49:33.

their bodies were moved away, but now they are back in Qunu, within

:49:34.:49:38.

the area of his house. The stones he slid down, he said he slid down so

:49:39.:49:42.

often that he got a sore bottom and could not do it any more! It has

:49:43.:49:45.

been a very big challenge for Qunu to do this, 4500 people coming

:49:46.:49:53.

tomorrow to one of the largest funerals South Africa has ever seen.

:49:54.:49:56.

George Alagiah is there and knows what they are doing. George.

:49:57.:50:01.

You can just imagine the frantic last-minute arrangements going on in

:50:02.:50:05.

the Mandela family compound behind me. Although they have had months,

:50:06.:50:09.

perhaps even years to plan this event, nothing could actually be

:50:10.:50:13.

built or visit until the last few days. Now, all along, the funeral

:50:14.:50:17.

has been billed as the most private event in this week of national

:50:18.:50:24.

mourning that we have seen, but it is not the kind of privacy that you

:50:25.:50:27.

or I would recognise. There are up to 5000 guests, and that has been

:50:28.:50:30.

the challenge all along for the organisers. Nelson Mandela belonged

:50:31.:50:33.

to the whole world, so tonight his body will be kept in the family

:50:34.:50:37.

home. Now, I am no expert, but under the tradition of the Xhosa speaking

:50:38.:50:45.

people, it will be the jobs of the elders to reunite Mr Mandela's

:50:46.:50:49.

spirit with his mortal remains, and this is done by apparently talking

:50:50.:50:53.

to the person, reminding them of significant places and people. We

:50:54.:50:57.

think there will be two distinct parts to the funeral service

:50:58.:51:00.

tomorrow, the first part will be the state funeral for a former

:51:01.:51:05.

president. The second part will be a traditional ceremony, presided over

:51:06.:51:10.

by the local king. Mr Mandela belonged to a minor branch of that

:51:11.:51:14.

Royal Family, so we will see BIP is arriving, then the family will take

:51:15.:51:19.

the coffin from the house, up the gravel path to the marquee a little

:51:20.:51:24.

way up that hill. -- VIPs. Inside there will be an orchestra, a choir,

:51:25.:51:29.

and then a much smaller group will attend the actual burial itself. As

:51:30.:51:34.

I have reported on the events of the week a theme has emerged, and Trent

:51:35.:51:39.

to bring together the different strands of his life. You see, he

:51:40.:51:42.

meant different things to different people, and for his beloved ANC was

:51:43.:51:47.

an unrivalled political figure, for the world he was a symbol of moral

:51:48.:51:51.

authority, and of course for the people here he is simply a returning

:51:52.:51:57.

son. George touches on an interesting

:51:58.:52:01.

point there, which is the different ways in which Nelson Mandela is

:52:02.:52:05.

perceived. I have to say, if you can hear the noise on the roof, we are

:52:06.:52:08.

in the middle of a summer storm with lightning flashing around us, but I

:52:09.:52:12.

think we are in the middle of a summer storm with lightning flashing

:52:13.:52:15.

around us, but I think we as a sign of somebody who, quite genuinely,

:52:16.:52:24.

was in one way was a very simple person who held onto his roots. That

:52:25.:52:30.

is. Mandela was essentially quite a modest man. -- that is correct.

:52:31.:52:36.

Despite the international recognition and accolades, he was

:52:37.:52:45.

very grounded. I recall stories of when he had first become president,

:52:46.:52:48.

and he would travel on international state visits, and he would ask his

:52:49.:52:56.

Director-General to help him but the mattress on the floor so that they

:52:57.:53:00.

could sleep comfortably, but to come very early to put the mattress back

:53:01.:53:04.

on the bed in order not to offend his hosts. So, in many respects, he

:53:05.:53:13.

remained humble, yet he was quite aware of his leadership capability

:53:14.:53:22.

and power, and his ability to move things and to move people. And he

:53:23.:53:25.

used people. Andy Hughes did effectively. How would those

:53:26.:53:35.

qualities... And he used it effectively. How would those

:53:36.:53:38.

qualities have been sustained during his time in jail? That gives a lot

:53:39.:53:44.

of time for reflection... Far too much time! But what one does not

:53:45.:53:51.

often see is the dark moments that he had and the self-doubt as to

:53:52.:53:57.

whether he did the right thing. His convictions never wavered, but

:53:58.:54:03.

certainly, when Winnie Mandela had been tortured and in solitary

:54:04.:54:10.

confinement, and the children were left alone, that really, really put

:54:11.:54:16.

him through his darkest moments. And of course, when his son died, and

:54:17.:54:21.

the head of the prisons would not give him permission to bury his own

:54:22.:54:28.

son, he went through quite a dark moments of depression, and Walter

:54:29.:54:34.

Sisulu had to kind of help him through that. Of course, your father

:54:35.:54:42.

was also in Robben Island. Did he have a similar experience to Nelson

:54:43.:54:46.

Mandela in terms of coming in as one kind of person and emerging, in a

:54:47.:54:50.

sense, as a different sort of person, more assured and confident

:54:51.:54:57.

about where the ANC was going? Well, first, in my father's family, no-one

:54:58.:55:05.

died, as happened in the case of Mandela. I think his mother also

:55:06.:55:12.

died when he was in prison. Yes. So we did not have that experience. Did

:55:13.:55:18.

you get to see him? I was in exile, so I couldn't go and see him. But

:55:19.:55:24.

they were so determined, that was one of the most striking things

:55:25.:55:31.

about it. When I eventually met my father after 30 or so years, it was

:55:32.:55:36.

like we had never left, because we had all been working on the same

:55:37.:55:41.

thing, which is how to get rid of this evil apart aid regime. --

:55:42.:55:47.

apartheid regime. So the dialogue restarted where it had ended in the

:55:48.:55:52.

1950s. No hesitation among the people who had been 20 or 25 years

:55:53.:55:57.

in Robben Island? Nobody backsliding? None whatsoever. They

:55:58.:56:03.

were very determined, they were very clear what the objective was, they

:56:04.:56:07.

were very clear what needed to be done in order to achieve the

:56:08.:56:13.

objective, and my father never talked about prison, for example.

:56:14.:56:19.

You might make a joke about some experience, but he never talked

:56:20.:56:23.

about prison. At what point do you think they decided that they would

:56:24.:56:27.

win, or maybe they realised they would win? Well, that is a very

:56:28.:56:34.

difficult question to answer! It is meant to be! Because, actually, when

:56:35.:56:42.

the negotiations started, the South African government was at its

:56:43.:56:46.

strongest point, because it had been at war in Angola and in the movie,

:56:47.:56:51.

and so the negotiations actually started when the South African army

:56:52.:56:57.

was back in South Africa. -- in the media. There were piece agreements

:56:58.:57:03.

with the Angolans and the Cubans, so it was at its strongest. I do not

:57:04.:57:08.

think they thought that this was a winning moment. You do not think

:57:09.:57:15.

they thought, one day our strategy will work? There was a believe that

:57:16.:57:20.

freedom would come, but it was a hard slog, the negotiations were

:57:21.:57:23.

hard work, and both sides had to give quite a lot. And the decision

:57:24.:57:29.

about when to start talking? Yes, well, that was made in prison, and

:57:30.:57:36.

as you know, Madiba's cohort, they were not all agreed that they should

:57:37.:57:43.

negotiate, in fact, that the struggle should continue, but he

:57:44.:57:48.

managed to persuade them. Professor, we have coming to the end of this,

:57:49.:57:51.

but the elders at this moment are sitting around the coffin in Qunu,

:57:52.:57:57.

is that right? Yes. And talking to the body? They would have talked to

:57:58.:58:02.

it when it arrived. And they will spend the night just in vigil Jim

:58:03.:58:06.

Mack we will hear more about it tomorrow. You are with us tomorrow,

:58:07.:58:11.

I think, thank you very much for coming in. It is very nice to have

:58:12.:58:17.

you here. That ends this look back at today's events, Nelson Mandela's

:58:18.:58:21.

last journey is nearly over. Tonight the coffin stays at his home in

:58:22.:58:28.

Qunu, and tomorrow we will be back at 5:30am on BBC One for the state

:58:29.:58:32.

funeral and the burial of the former president in the grounds of his home

:58:33.:58:35.

in Qunu. I hope you will be able to join us then. Until then, good

:58:36.:58:36.

night.

:58:37.:58:40.

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