05/12/2013 BBC News at Ten


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Full Set Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president, has


died. He was 95. We will be reporting on


his remarkable life, from freedom fighter to global statesman.


President Zuma has just made this announcement. Our beloved Nelson


Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding president of our democratic nation,


has departed. He had becoming critically frail in recent years and


died at home, surrounded by close family members. He had spent three


decades in jail. An enemy of the apartheid regime and a determined


fighter for democracy. Mr Nelson Mandela, a freeman, taking


his first steps into a new South Africa. His Long Walk To Freedom was


celebrated worldwide. He became one of the towering figures of the past


century. His election as Darth Africa's first black president


brought a spirit of reconciliation after the pain of apartheid. Never,


and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again


experience the oppression of one by another. Good evening. Nelson


Mandela, the father of modern South Africa, has died at the age of 95.


He was a freedom fighter who became president and global statesman,


carrying the hopes and aspirations of his people. Nelson Mandela spent


27 years in prison, a symbol of resistance at home and a figure of


great authority abroad. The announcement of his death was made


in the past few minutes by President Zuma. Fellow South Africans, our


beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding president of our


democratic nation, has departed. He passed on peacefully, in the company


of his family, at around 20.50 on the 5th of December, 2013. He is now


resting. He is now at peace. Our nation has lost its greatest son.


Our people have lost a father. Although we knew that this day would


come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss. His


tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world. His


humility, his compassion and his humanity earned him their love. Our


thoughts and prayers are with the Mandela family. To them, we owe a


debt of gratitude. They have sacrificed much and endured much so


that our people could be free. President Jacob Zuma, making the


announcement of the death of former President Mandela refused in its


ago. Let's go live to Johannesburg. Our correspondent is there. It was a


long wait, because lots of people were concerned over the last few


years by his health. He had been very frail in recent months, but the


music that will have an enormous in fact in South Africa and around the


world? That is right. This announcement by Jacob Zuma that you


just saw in Pretoria was preceded by heightened activity around Nelson


Mandela's home in his Johannesburg suburb. We saw family members


arriving and government cars. An hour before the announcement was


made, we saw police vans arriving, setting up a cordon around the house


to keep away whatever Krauts might have gathered. And then, of course,


that announcement. The keywords there from Jacob Zuma were" profound


and enduring loss" . He said South Africa had lost its greatest son,


and the people have lost a father. Even though, as you said, people had


been preparing for this, especially over the last dicks months, when Mr


Mandela went into hospital -- over the last six months, when Mr Mandela


went into hospital and was released later, South Africa had been slowly


preparing itself for this news. It knew it was coming, and yet there


was always this sense that he might somehow pull through. Only on


Tuesday, his eldest daughter was talking about how she could see her


father struggling, as she put it, on his deathbed, but he was still a


courageous fighter and continued to teach them, the family and the


nation, lessons as he lay there. We heard Jacob Zuma saying that in


him, we saw so much of ourselves. That is one of the key things here,


that for South Africans, he represented their better nature,


everything they hoped their nation could become. Jacob Zuma talked


about Mandela was buying vision of building a united and nonracial


South Africa. At the moment, amidst the morning, there will also be a


recognition of the distance that South Africa still has to go to


achieve that vision. In the days and weeks to come, South Africa and


people around the world will want to pay tribute and talk about his


achievements with great formality and the committee as they prepare


for that state funeral. That is right. We heard Jacob Zuma


announcing that from tomorrow, all flags in South Africa would be


lowered to half-mast and that President Mandela would get a state


funeral. We understand that there will be a ceremony of national


mourning at a football stadium five days from now. There will then be a


period of lying in state in Pretoria, followed by an ANC


ceremony at a military airbase. Then he will be flown to his hometown,


where the state funeral will take place, presumably in the company of


both South Africans and world leaders.


We will have lots of reaction for you not just from South Africa, but


from London and around the world. In the meantime, our correspondent


considers the people and places that influenced Nelson Mandela and drove


his struggle against the apartheid regime.


His story is one of the most remarkable of any world leader. Few


in history have endured oppression with such little rancour, or


overcome the oppressor with such little bloodshed. I, Nelson


Rolihlahla Mandela, do hereby swear to be faithful to the Republic of


South Africa. In May 1994, Nelson Mandela, the man a white South


Africa in prison for nearly 30 years, was sworn in as the


country's first black president. Through his dignified and courageous


leadership, the African National Congress had broken the stranglehold


of apartheid and transformed South Africa into a multiracial democracy.


Nelson Mandela was born in 1918 in South Africa's Eastern Cape, the son


of a tribal chief. He qualified as a lawyer and by 1952, he had set up a


legal partnership with the man who was to be a lifelong friend and


ally, Oliver. Together, they campaigned against apartheid, the


exercise in social engineering under which South Africa's white minority


originally crushed the human rights and aspirations of the black


majority. In 1956, and a lot was among 156 political activists to be


charged with high treason. The trial lasted more than four years before


charges were dropped. The Sharpeville massacre in 1964 the ANC


to change strategy. 69 people died when police opened fire on black as


traitors. The ANC was outlawed, Mandela went underground and


peaceful resistance became a thing of the past. Many feel that it is


useless and futile for us to continue talking peace and


nonviolence against a government whose reply is only savage attacks


on an unarmed and defenceless people. Mandela undertook a campaign


of sabotage against the state. He was eventually arrested and charged


with conspiracy to overthrow the government. At his trial, he made a


three-hour speech from the dog. A tape of it was discovered later.


This, his final plea for freedom and democracy for all South Africans,


was to echo down 27 years he was to remain a political prisoner.


Sentenced to life imprisonment, he was sent to Robben Island, a top


security prison in Cape Town's table Bay. Photographs of Mandela were


banned from publication. To quote him was an offence. But


astonishingly, he was not embittered by his long imprisonment. I soon


grasped the fact that we are not conducting a struggle against white


domination. In the course of that struggle, we can form friendships


with people from the other side. Outside, time was running out for


apartheid. With the ANC leadership in jail, even the children of Soweto


were now helping sustain the revolution. The hardline government


of the W Botha tried to crush the uprising, but gradually, more


liberal white people began to realise that Mandela was the


solution, not the problem. An international campaign was begun for


the release of Nelson Mandela as around the world, governments


imposed sanctions on South Africa. In 1990, a courageous white leader,


President FW de Klerk, announced that the ANC would be an banned. --


un-band. Mr Mandela is taking his first steps into a new South Africa.


That seven three, after 27 years of imprisonment, Nelson Mandela walked


to freedom with his then wife at his side. Worldwide pressure had borne


fruit, but hope soon turned to despair. Township riots left blacks


fighting blacks. Mandela repeatedly appealed for peace. Take your guns,


your knives and throw them into the sea. In 1994, Mandela cast his vote


in South Africa's first multiracial elections. Millions enjoyed their


first taste of democracy. The result was a landslide for the ANC. Nelson


Mandela was president of a new South Africa. Never, never and never again


shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression


of one by another. Three years later Nelson Mandela gave up the


presidency of the African National Congress in favour of the


Vice-President, can I Mbeki, who succeeded him as head of state.


Mandela was feted throughout the world as here in London. But there


had been personal sadness. His long-time marriage to Winnie, once


known as the mother of the nation, had ended. In 1998 at the age of 80


he married Graca Machel, the widow of the late President of Mozambique.


It was a marriage which brought him personal happiness and helped him to


enjoy some of the family life which his long imprisonment had denied


him. On the eve of the new millennium Nelson Mandela had


revisited the cell on Robben Island where he had spent nearly 20 of the


27 years he was imprisoned. He lit a candle to symbolise reconciliation.


It was passed to an African child to represent that Continent's hope for


the future, a hope inspired by the life and ideals of one of the truly


great leaders of our time, Nelson Mandela.


Let me show you what's happening in Johannesburg. This is the scene at


the home of the Mandela family. The crowd was gathering earlier, because


they were sensing that something was about to happen. The crowd you


gathering in number and strength. Among them is our southern Africa


correspondent, who is on the phone. I'm hoping Milton can hear me. Give


me a sense of the news there and the impact of that news. I'm standing


outside Nelson Mandela's house here in Houghton in the leafy suburb of


Houghton in Johannesburg. There are lots of people here who are just


coming in dribs and drabs, black and white. People are shocked, even


though he had known that Mr Mandela was ill for a long time. The


announcement by President Zuma tonight has gone a long way to shock


them and to bring them the reality that, finally, a day that South


Africans had feared had come had finally arrived. There is a huge


media contingent here. Lots of cameras, local and international.


The crowd is gathering. The police have in the last hour put up a


cordon to try to control the crowds on the corner of 12th Avenue and 4th


Street here in Houghton. We heard the President earlier saying the


nation had lost its greatest son, our people have lost a father. He


called him the great son and the father of modern South Africa. Just


tell us a little bit about how the nation now will receive this news


and how important it is in the days and weeks ahead to recognise his


contribution properly and fully and with deep dignity. That's very


important. I think President Jacob Zuma encapsulated the feelings of


the nation when he said we've lost one of our greatest sons. I think


that that is exactly how the nation will feel here in South Africa. .


Remember Mr Mandela liberated millions of black South Africans


from racial oppression. But he also liberated the oppressors themselves


when he walked out of prison and said, let's bygone be bygones.


That's how the nation will remember him as they prepare for his funeral.


Milton, for now, thank you. We are expecting President Obama to


make a statement in a short while. We'll bring that to you straight


away. David Cameron is leading the tributes tonight, saying that a


great light has gone out in the world. Nick Robinson our political


editor is at Westminster. Nick, I just gave a brief summary there of


what the Prime Minister's been saying. Tell us more. I can think of


no other figure that's had greater influence on Britain. No other world


figure has more stirred and moved and inspired the current number of


leaders. He said Nelson Mandela was a hero of time. He went on to say he


had asked the flag to be flown at half-mast at Number ten. Mr Cameron


met Nelson Mandela when he was Leader of the Opposition. It was a


poignant meeting because David Cameron had apologised for the way


his own party, the Conservative Party, had handled apartheid. Mrs


Thatcher had talked about using the carrot rather than the stick. In a


very, very different time, the ANC were then suspected by many on the


right of having associations with the Soviet Union, in some way of


being the enemy of the West. But Mr Cameron embrace Mr Mandela and met


him again, and has photographs of Nelson Mandela in his flat in


Downing Street. Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, very close to many


members of the African National Congress. Including some who stood


trial with Nelson Mandela, which led to imprisonment for more than a


quarter of a century. It wasn't until 2007 that Ed Miliband met


Mandela. It was at the unveiling of a statue that stands in Parliament


Square. He too I think will be very affected. Nick Clegg I'm told never


got to meet Mr Mandela but like many of his age went to the Free Mandela


Concert at Wembley, which was part of the great campaign that stirred


so many in Britain to try to get Mandela released. There was


controversy about how to handle apartheid while in prison, but after


he was out Mandela was embraced by all and he was forgiving and was a


frequent visitor to this country. There'll be many people I'm sure who


are remembering where they were when he was released, when he became


President, when he made one of those frequent visits. I was one of those


lucky enough to meet him. All I've spoken to talk of the same thing:


Quiet dignity and enormous strength of character.


Nick, you you rightly mentioned the impact here in the UK. Many people


will be mourning his death. It's the impossible to think of any other


world statesman whose death would have this kind of, would deliver


this kind of blow, if you like, to millions of people around the world.


That's right, because he became a symbol of something. For so many he


became a symbol of one man's strength, the power to endure


against imprisonment, against terrible injustice, and also the


strej of character -- strength of character once out of prison not


then to be embittered, not then to turn on those who had imprisoned


him, not then to search out for those he might regard as having been


previously his or the ANC's enemies. . He seemed capable not just only of


embracing people in his country but people throughout the world,


whatever their view had been. As such he became for politicians as


well as ordinary people a symbol of that strength of personality and the


ability to overcome bitterness and terrible injustice. Nick, for now,


thank you. Let's go live to Washington to our


North American editor. We are expecting a statement from President


Obama quite soon? He'll be making a statement very shortly indeed. I


think it will be a pretty emotional moment. Nelson Mandela is the


closest the world has to a secular saint. He has a particular meaning


in this country, which has had its own struggle against legally imposed


racism. And already the tributes have started coming from across the


political spectrum. George W Bush said he and his wife join the people


of South Africa in paying tribute. President Mandela bore his buried


beens with dignity and grace and the world is better off because of his


example, he says. The great man will be missed but his contributions will


live forever. George Bush's father, George HW Bush, says he mourns the


passing of one of the greatest believers in freedom we've had the


privilege to know. He talks of his moral courage, which changed the


course of history. I think we'll see a lot more tributes like that. Let's


talk about the reaction, likely reaction across the United States.


Nick Robinson earlier touched on the fact this is a man whose reputation


has changed over the past 40 or 50 years. What take would you have on


that in America? I think that's right. This country knows all about


racism, knows all about history, so I think he is especially celebrated


here because of that. As Nick said, it is an important point that it is


not just what he stood for, what he fought for. It is when he got out of


prison. The sense that he could forgive, the sense that he could


come to an accommodation with the people who had been his poem's


oppressors. That is very important in this country. It is something


that President Obama has already referred to in June of this year. He


was in South Africa. He visited the cell on Robben Island where Nelson


Mandela was held prisoner. He wrote in the book there that he was


humbled to stand where men of such courage had faced down injustice. He


went on to write, no shackles or cells can match the strength of the


human spirit. Only last month at the White House, President Obama hosted


a reception to show the film The Walk To Freedom about Nelson


Mandela. He said then that truth and justice will win out. Something that


President Obama is always very keen to stress, and stress in the terms


of this country's own civil rights movement. That he often uses the


quote about the moral ark of the universe bends slowly but bends


towards freedom. I think he will put Nelson Mandela in that context when


he makes his own comments, which we are expecting very soon indeed. . He


should have been up at the White House five minutes ago but we are


expecting him shortly. Mark, we'll be right back when that happens.


Thank you. When Mr Mandela was jailed in 1962


the authorities hoped to undermine his authority and to destroy his


ambition to end the apartheid system. And bring about a democratic


transformation. He once said the prison years had helped to shape


him. As George Alagiah experience, the prison experience turned him


into a strong and unyield opponent. It has been a lepar colony and


military base but most famously the place where Nelson Mandela was


jailed for 25 years. . The prisoner who became a President went back to


the bleak island and to the cell where his only view of the world was


through steel bars. One of the things that was difficult to


comprehend was that we spent such a long time here. He was back at the


lime quarry where all political prisoners were forced into hard


labour, a back-breaking task designed to crush their spirits. But


far from it. Robben Island became a kind of finishing school for


activists, with Nelson Mandela himself sometimes giving the


lessons. The a visibly frail Nelson Mandela returned to the island in


retirement and remembered how he once turned the tablesen a warder


who threatened him. I said, you dare touch me I will take you to the


highest court in the land, and by the time I finished with you, you


will be as poor as a church mouse. He then stopped. The courtyard, the


cells, the quarry, the backdrop against which the prisoners fought


to preserve their humanity. Ahmed was there with Nelson Mandela. Our


general approach was that we are not going to do anything that impinges


on our dignity. Dozens of freedom fighters were banished to Robben


Island but Nelson Mandela's authority was there to see. You


could tell that Nelson Mandela was the leader of the group. When he


spoke to his colleagues, they would stand still or work or whatever. In


other words he would lead by example.


In the divided nation outside, a new generation was taking to the


streets. The leader of the Soweto uprising in 1976 were angry and


impatient with the old guard. But even they would eventually bow to Mr


Mandela's moral authority. Cyril ram pose za says if anything


imprisonment had raised his profile. But imprisoning him they gave him a


life that was much larger than life itself. They actually made him the


hero of our struggle. They created a martyr. Created an icon. Around whom


everybody rallied. The man who emergeded from prison did not


disappoint. And as he once said to me, prison had taught him to think


through his brain, not his blonde. The one-time firebrand was ready to


reconcile old enemies. Let's carry on with our tributes and


underline what we are reporting tonight. If you are just joining us


here on BBC News we are reporting from South Africa the death of


former President Mandela, who was 95.He had of course been ill for


quite a long time. In the past three months increasingly frail,


discharged from hospital in September, his third visit to


hospital this year. The news announced by President Zuma just a


few minutes ago that former President Mandela has passed away.


With me two people with very interesting stories to share with us


about their experiences in South Africa. James Robbins, who was there


for the BBC back in the early 1990s when Mr Mandela was released, and


our South African correspondent. What are your memories of that day,


you must have been very young. I was ten years old of when Nelson Mandela


walked out of the prison when he was holding hands with his former wife,


Winnie Madikezela Mandela. I grew up in a family where it has always been


instilled in us the importance of why people like Nelson Mandela


fought and liberated South Africa. I had been be, it was a Sunday and I


had been sent to the shops on that day. When I came back I found my


mother staring at the TV screen and she was crying. I said to her, but


why are you crying? ? What's wrong? For a good 15 or 20 seconds she did


not answer me. She held me and shook me and said to me, this is the day


you will never forget for the rest of your life. You are now free. That


to me... I'm constantly reminded of that, each time I see the beauty of


South Africa, and all its flaws, Nelson Mandela to a lot of South


Africans stands for peace. He stands for reconciliation when a lot of


black people were calling for revenge when he was released. He was


the one who preached peace. He said in one of his speeches, I studied


the Afrikaner for all the 27 years that I was in prison. I am going to


beat them at their own game. I am preaching forgiveness. And that is


how you defeat the enemy. That is what he kept on saying.


Given that deep respect and that deep admiration, what were your


feelings when you heard the news tonight? For a long time South


Africans have always known, and the world, we've always known that


Mandela was very ill. He was 95 years old. We've always been told by


family, by members of the presidency and Government that he was stable,


but critical. But all we knew a was that he was frail. A lot of people


have been expecting this news for as long as Nelson Mandela had been


released from prison. But this day now that it has happened, it is


happening in South Africa, it has gone after midnight right now. A lot


of people will not have heard what's happened when they wake up tomorrow


morning, but we are likely to see people gather in every bit of open


space in South Africa where they will be mourning their hero. Their


father. Mandela is dad. That is what we call him in South Africa. It


means father. He has been a father to the nation. He is not a saint but


he has been good for the reconciliation process of South


Africa. Let me bring viewers the response of President Obama. At his


trial in 1964, Nelson Mandela closed his statement from the dog, saying"


I have fought against white domination. I have fought against


black domination. I cherished the ideal of a democratic and free


society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal


opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve.


But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. Nelson


Mandela lived for that ideal, and he made it real. He achieved more than


could be expected of any man. And today, he has gone home. We have


lost one of our most influential, courageous and profoundly good human


beings that any of us will share time with on this earth. He no


longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages. Through his fist knitting


and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom above others -- his


fierce dignity, Madiba moved all of us. His journey from a prisoner to a


president embodied the promise that human beings and countries can


change for the better. His commitment to transfer power and


reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity


should aspire to, whether in the lives of nations or our own personal


lives. And the fact that he did it all with grace and good humour and


an ability to acknowledge his own imperfections only makes the man


that much more remarkable. As he once said, "I am not a St, unless


you think of a St as a sinner who keeps trying". President Obama,


speaking at the White House a few minutes ago, with his moving


tribute, having heard the news that Nelson Mandela has died. With me now


are James Robbins, who spent much time reporting from South Africa.


What are your memories of that time? My strongest memory is the privilege


of being in Cape Town on that Sunday in February, 1990, when Nelson


Mandela walked out of business. It was the most important moment in my


journalistic career. You have to remember, this was a man whose image


was banned in South Africa. It was not lawful to have an image of


Nelson Mandela. People were sent to prison for having his photograph on


a coffee mug. He had been suppressed utterly and become something of a


myth, but he came out the man. He made that walk to Freedom. The very


next day, I remember sitting in Archbishop Desmond Tutu's Darden at


the first conference the newly released Nelson Mandela gave Mo and


I asked him, what surprised you most as you made that walk towards the


prison gates? He said it was the number of white people who had come


among the huge black crowd. That was a deliberately reconciling statement


already, at that very first instant. He was being elliptical and -- being


political and holding out a hand to the minority who he knew he had to


embrace. That was an extraordinary thing to hear from a man who had


lost 27 years of his life. He had been in prison when his first son


had died and suffered so much deprivation, and yet he was


radiating forgiveness from the moment he came out of prison. That


is my abiding memory. He was, in the proper sense of this word, a unique


figure. He was. He was surely the only truly global hero of our age.


It was his utter consistency and his committee and his forgiveness that


marks him out -- his committee. He inspired a whole nation. He


transcended the white regime that had pressed him for so long. They


wanted to negotiate with him, and he said "I cannot negotiate unless I am


a free man" . They kept putting pressure on him to renounce violence


while he was still in his prison cell. What did he say? "I cannot


negotiate as long as I remain in prison and I will not abandon the


principle of one man, one vote". They were terrified of what might


happen. They had no cause to be terrified, because he presided over


an extraordinary multiracial democracy. Whatever the problems of


South Africa now, let's not centuries in which they had been


inferior citizens in their own land. James watched them queue in


their millions to take heart in the democratic process. He has been back


to find out how that day changed people's lives.


South African families, out enjoying themselves. You might not think


there is anything unusual about that, but to me, who reported from


South Africa at the height of apartheid in the 1980s, this is


extraordinary. This was then a white only suburb. I was reporting on the


struggle against apartheid and the regime's extraordinarily brutal


response to any opposition. In the years since then and since Nelson


Mandela's release, I have been back several times, talking to ordinary


South Africans, black and white, about the immense difference Nelson


Mandela made their lives. These are some of their stories. Antoinette


Pietersen is still coming to terms with her terrible loss as a


schoolgirl in the 1970s. Look at her screaming grief. It is June 1976,


and her 13-year-old brother Hector has just in shock and killed the


police, first victim of the Soweto uprising. This museum of up


apartheid in Soweto has been named in Hector Peterson's honour.


Schoolchildren learn their divided history here. For several years,


Hector's sister Antoinette chose to be one of the guides, to confront


her own past every day and her grief. After years, trying to bury


it, failing to face it, she says Nelson Mandela inspired her to


change. I never thought I would talk about what happened. Every time I


spoke about it, I became traumatised and confused. But Mandela went to


prison for 27 years and kept going. Why can't I do the same? Next, the


story of Herman Daly. I met him in 2004. In the Cape wine lands, the


mayor of Wellington is showing some of the riches of South Africa to the


Japanese ambassador, drumming up business for the nonracial rainbow


nation which Nelson Mandela did so much to create. Under apartheid,


Herman, then classified as Cape coloured, could never have been


mayor of a wealthy town ruled by the white minority. It is the values of


the man, Nelson Mandela. To have been incarcerated all those years


and come out and in his very first speech said to let bygones be


bygones, no South African who was at the time very influenced by the then


government could have leapt these were the words of somebody was


incarcerated for so long. Now meet Chris, another prisoner of


apartheid. This is the Valley of grace, further east in the Cape. In


1738, it was the first Christian missions nation in South Africa.


More recently, this is a community which resisted apartheid, causing


Nelson Mandela to name his Cape Town home after the village. Chris was


pastor of the church here. He was imprisoned in the 1970s for daring


to oppose white supremacy. 69 days in solitary confinement almost


killed him. Nelson Mandela's example kept him going. I got the feeling I


would never come out alive. Sitting there with my thoughts, I thought, I


wonder what Nelson Mandela was doing at that time, having been there for


so many years, separated from his family. How could he endure such


torture for so many years 's here I sat for only a few month, and yet it


was so hard. It was practically unbearable. And that gave me


strength. Hedwig is our last witness to Nelson Mandela's greatness.


Hedwig is a schoolteacher who used to believe Nelson Mandela was a


terrorist to be feared, not admired. Her pupils were exclusively white


until the mid-1990s. Now she rejoices in the change to


multiracial education. But back then, she was scared when Nelson


Mandela was freed from prison. Was it going to be safe for white South


African? Will we be able to move round the way we used to? Are we


going to be thrown into jail because we are white? He started talking and


reassured people that there will never be a thing like apartheid in


South Africa. It set our minds at rest. The stories of just a handful


of South Africans who lived through the worst of times. There are


thousands of South Africans with similar stories to tell. It helps


explain why, for them, Nelson Mandela was not only a hero, but a


giant of his age. To see his legacy, whatever the problems that still


confront South Africa, to see the new, free South Africa, you just


have to look around. We will have more reaction in a


short while and talk more about President Obama. Bill Gates has paid


tribute, and the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon.


James, your impressions when you went back, clearly, people want to


talk and pay tribute and recognise what happened to them on that day


which changed millions of lives? That is absolutely right. Every


South African, regardless of their political view, was touched by that


moment. Of course, there were some on the far right in South Africa who


were appalled and felt betrayed by their leaders that the hard line


that had been taken since 1948 had been abandoned. They were


frightened. The schoolteacher their echo that. She was not from the far


right, but she was nervous because white South Africa had utterly


demonised Nelson Mandela and the entire ANC, all those who stood


behind him. It was a dangerous moment. All the years immediately


after his release were dangerous moments. These were tough


negotiations which Nelson Mandela had to lead to persuade all South


Africans that actually, they could feel safe in the hands of an ANC


government which was eventually elected. It is impossible to


exaggerate the extent to which he had to have moral political stature.


Everybody around him in the ANC acknowledged that he was head and


shoulders above them. There were rivalries within the ANC, but not


about him. You were saying also about your memories of the day when


he was released. I am wondering about the significance of that


election, when he became the first president of South Africa. What was


the impact of that day? When all of this was happening I was too young,


too young to even vote in 1994 when millions of South Africans were


bussed in at a school that was opposite our house where my mother


and I lived. A lot of people were wearing ANC colours, shouting, "Viva


Mandela." And talking about not just Nelson Mandela but the likes of ol


have Tambo, Sisull - -- Sisulu. There was a lot of nervousness. As


much as people were shouting and happy, there was a lot of police


presence there. People were worried about what was going to happen. What


are we expecting for the next day? And as you rightly say, it is not


everyone in South Africa who was happy about the release of Nelson


Mandela from prison, but things over the years seem to have changed,


because of this reconciliation and forgiveness that Nelson Mandela kept


preaching. Each time that Nelson Mandela is sick and is hospitalised


or was sick and hospitalised, a lot of South Africans by the millions


would be virtually in that waiting room along with the family. But it


was now white people saying, please don't let him die, because we don't


know what future is out there for us white South Africans. Because there


is still a belief by some white South Africans that when Mandela


goes, which is what we've seen here, that his long walk to freedom has


ended. What is to happen to them? That is the question that a lot of


people are still asking. Thank you very much. I mentioned that the UN


Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has been paying tribute. He called


Nelson Mandela a giant of jus is. Bill Gates said they were inspired


when they met President Mandela a number of times, saying he was a


tireless fighter in pursuit of equality and justice for all people.


Another tribute this evening in London at the film premiere of


Mandela. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were there. This is what


they had to say. Extremely sad and tragic news, the we are reminded


what an extraordinary and inspiring man Nelson Mandela was. My thoughts


and prayers are with his family right now. A tribute from the Duke


of Cambridge earlier tonight. We saw President Obama earlier talking


about President Mandela's contribution. Mark Mardell is in


Washington for us with his thoughts on what the President said, what did


you make of it? It thought it was interesting on a number of levels.


President Obama spoke about his own first political involvement being in


the antiapartheid movement. This is a theme we'll see over the coming


days, just as doubtless people in South Africa took inspiration from


the civil rights movement in the United States, so people in the


civil rights movement looked towards South Africa and felt a pride in


seeing a black President in place. It is America's first black


President who paid tribute tonight to the fierce dignity, as he called


it, of Nelson Mandela. He took a great lesson from that. He said that


Nelson Mandela no longer belongs to us but to the ages. He said there


was a lesson not just for politics but for people in their own personal


lives. That decisions should be guided not by hate but by love. He


went on to echo a quote from Martin Luther King which in itself echoes a


quote from a white antislavery campaigner. He said he took history


in his hands and bent the moral arc of the universe towards justice.


We've been reporting the death of former President Mandela in South


Africa at the age of 95. He had been increasingly frail in recent months.


Lots of concern about his health oh the past two or 3 years. But the


news was announced by President Zuma about 45 minutes ago that the former


President has passed away. At this point some of our viewers in the UK


are leaving us briefly for the news and weather where you are. Our


coverage of the news of the death of Nelson Mandela continues on BBC News


Channel and BBC World


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