Nelson Mandela Announcement BBC News Special


Nelson Mandela Announcement

An address by South African president Jacob Zuma, announcing the death of former president Nelson Mandela.


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greatest son -- lost its greatest son. Yet what made Nelson Mandela

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great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in

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ourselves. And in him, we saw so much of ourselves. Fellow South

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Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we

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will bid him farewell. Our beloved Madiba will be accorded a state

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funeral. I have ordered that all flags of the Republic of South

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Africa be lowered to half-mast from tomorrow, six December, and to

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remain at half-mast until after the funeral. -- sixth December. As we

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gather to pay our last respects, let us conduct our selves with the

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dignity and respect that Madiba personified. Let us be mindful of

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his wishes and the wishes of his family. As we gather, where ever we

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are, in the country, and where ever we are in the world, letters recall

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the values for which Madiba fought. Letters reaffirm -- let as reaffirm

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his vision of a society in which none is exploited, or pressed --

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oppressed or dispossessed by another. Let us commit ourselves to

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show together, with strength and courage, to build a united,

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non-racial, nonsexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa. Letters

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express -- let us express each, in our own way, the deep gratitude we

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feel for the life spent in service of the people of this country and in

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the cause of humanity. That is indeed the moment of our deepest

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sorrow. Yet it must also be the moment of our greatest

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determination. A determination to live as Madiba has lived. To strive,

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as he has strived, and to not rest until we have realised this vision

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of a truly united South Africa. A peaceful and prosperous Africa. And

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a better world. We will always love you, Madiba. May your soul rest in

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peace. But bless Africa. -- God bless Africa. I thank you.

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We have just heard the very sad news announced by Jacob Zuma that Nelson

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Mandela has died. He was 95 years old. She had been suffering from a

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recurrence of a lung infection. -- he had. He was admitted to hospital

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three times, receiving treatment since September at his home in

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Johannesburg. He contracted tuberculosis during his 27 years in

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prison for leading the fight against apartheid in South Africa. Of

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course, he is revered as the father of the nation for overseeing the

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transition from white minority rule to democracy and we heard there

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president Zuma announcing that Nelson Mandela has to be peacefully

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on Thursday at his home in Johannesburg. We can cross live to

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speak to the BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse in Johannesburg. Deeply, deeply sad

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news. Yes, and you saw the very sombre tone taken there by Jacob

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Zuma, speaking at union buildings in Pretoria, saying that Nelson build

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-- saying that Nelson Mandela had departed, passing on peacefully and

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that the nation South Africa have lost its greatest son. And that our

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people had lost a father. He talked about the deep emotional attachment

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that South Africans have four Nelson Mandela, who many here called

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Madiba, and he said nothing can diminish our sense of loss, his

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utility and compassion, and he said we saw so much of ourselves in him.

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That is crucial at the moment here, even now Nelson Mandela had departed

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from public life quite some time ago, many, many South Africans, most

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South Africans, saw in him the embodiment of their better selves,

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the nation they wanted to see. Jacob Zuma talking about I united South

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Africa, building a united, nonracial South Africa in which no one is or

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pressed or exploited. At this time, whilst the nation as morning, even

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though this was something they knew would happen, it is also a time at

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which this nation is contemplating how much further it will has to go

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to achieve that vision of Nelson Mandela's. Very upsetting and, as

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you said, we had been planning for it, of course, Mr Mandela has been

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so ill for so long, but still comes as an incredible shock. I think so,

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he was old, 95 years old, very frail, he had been very ill on and

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off for the past year, hospitalised and months ago, released from

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hospital to intensive home care macro, that was in September. In a

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sense, the South African nation had this time to prepare for the

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possibility of his passing, and yet, and missed all of that, still is

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hoped that he would pull through, always the talk of his being a

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fighter, putting up a courageous fight. His oldest daughter said,

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only on Tuesday, that even though she could see her father was still

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struggling on what she called his death bed, that he was putting up a

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brave fight, still teaching the family and the South African nation

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lessons of tolerance and patience. This evening, increased activity at

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around Nelson Mandela's Johannesburg home, which I guess led to thoughts

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and fears being heightened, and now been confirmed. That is right, we

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saw earlier today at gathering of the family, larger than we had seen

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in some time, and some government vehicles arriving, then about ten

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ago, police vehicles putting up a Gordon, trying to keep some of the

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smaller crowds. -- putting up a cordon. What they understand will

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now happen is that Mr Mandela's body will be moved to a mortuary in

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Pretoria, which has been prepared for him, then a whole set piece

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number of days of mourning, culminating in a state funeral, as

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Jacob Zuma said, most likely next out of the. Saturday week. -- most

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likely next that today, Saturday week. Thank you very much for

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updating as on the deeply, deeply sad news that Nelson Mandela has

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passed away, was 95 years old, a consumer making that announcement

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that Mr Mandela passed away peacefully. -- Jacob Zuma making

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that announcement. He spoke about the nation losing its greatest son

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and people their father. He also said, letters express our own way

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gratitude for a life spent in service for the people of this

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country. The flags around the country will be kept at half mast

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from tomorrow, Friday, until after the funeral. He said, this is the

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moment of our deepest sorrow, and also the moment of our greatest

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determination to live as Madiba live, striving as he strived and not

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resting until we have realised his vision of a united South Africa.

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Jacob Zuma speaking earlier. Condolences coming from around the

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world, David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, saying a great light

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has gone out, that he was a hero of the time and the flag at number ten

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will be flown at half mast. For those joining us, sad news that

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Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95. He had been suffering from a

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recurrence of a lung infection. We are watching live images from

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outside his home, where he passed away peacefully at the age of 95.

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