Nelson Mandela BBC News Special

Nelson Mandela

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We will report on his remarkable life from prisoner to president,


from freedom fighter to local statesman. President Zuma has made


this announcement. Our beloved Nelson Mandela, the founding


president of our democratic nation has departed. He'd become


increasingly frail in recent years and died at home in Johannesburg,


surrounded by close family members. We've lost one of the 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. Tonight, one of the brightest lights of our


world has gone out. He spent three decades in jail, an enemy of the


apartheid regime and a determined fighter for democracy. There's Mr


Nelson Mandela, a free man, 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 South


Africa's first black president brought a spirit of reconciliation


after all 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. The former South African president, Nelson


Mandela, has died at home at the age of 95. Mr Mandela spent nearly three


decades in prison, fighting for equality and in 1994, South Africa


held its first multiethnic, fully representative elections and he


became president. The former antiapartheid leader, who led the


struggle against white minority rule had been suffering from a recurrence


of a lung infection, was taken to hospital in Pretoria at the


beginning of June. It was the third time this year that he had needed


hospital treatment. He had been receiving treatment at home after


that. His death was announced by the South African president, Jacob Zuma.


Fellow South Africans, our beloved Nelson Mandela, the founding


president of our democratic nation has departed. He passed on


peacefully in the company of his family 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. Jacob Zuma make


being the announcement just over an hour ago of the death of President


Mandela, at the age of 95 and underlining his immense contribution


to the people of South Africa and indeed, his status as a towering


figure during the Twentieth Century Anderson emblem of freedom and


justice throughout the world. Our correspondent is in Johannesburg and


Gabriel can tell us more about the tributes being paid in the past


hour. Yes, well we've seen tributes coming


not only from Jacob Zuma, as you heard there, but also from around


the world. David Cameron, Barack Obama, everywhere you can think of,


people are talking about the symbol of justice that Nelson Mandela meant


to the world. Looking a little bit closer at Jacob Zuma's statement, I


think some of the key words to pick out there are "a sense of profound


and enduring loss, that South Africa had lost its greatest son and that


our people have lost a father." He's known as Nelson Mandela to the world


but here in South Africa, he's often known by his tribal name Madiba or


simply Tata, father. Jacob Zuma went on to say, "in him we saw so much of


ourselves". That's a key thing here at this moment in South Africa, that


is what people are mourning. They feel like a part of themselves, part


of this nation, has left them. They identified Nelson Mandela in a


sense, as the emblem of their better selves, of everything they wanted to


achieve. Jacob Zuma said - let us reaffirm his vision of a society in


which no-one is exploited or oppressed, to build a united and


nonracial and prosperous South Africa. In the coming days, we will


see South Africans gathering in cities and towns and villages to


mark the respect with which they hold Nelson Mandela, for achieving


everything that he did achieve in a peaceful, relatively peaceful


transition from apartheid to democracy, but also, recognising, I


think, in the coming days, how much distance this country still has to


travel to achieve that vision. As you speak, we've been seeing images


of people at the Mandela residence in Johannesburg. Really telling us


something about a fusion of emotions, there'll be an outpouring


of grief, clearly, for many millions of people, but there is a mood of


celebration in one sense, celebrating all the remarkable


things that this man achieved. I think that's right. Mixed emotions.


People are sad. People feel that profound sense of loss, but Nelson


Mandela is a symbol of hope and people will indeed be coming


together to remember that, to remember him as an emblem, not just,


a fighter against oppression, but as a man who could forgive, who could


bring this country together against so many odds. I think what we've


seen, in fact, in the last six months, ever since Mr Mandela went


into hospital in June, and we were told that it was very, very serious,


people beginning to prepare for this moment and beginning to begin to be


able to believe it, in a sense. Even though South Africans have had six


months to prepare themselves, you still constantly heard this hope


against hope that he might just carry on. The word "fighter" was


constantly used. Indeed, two days ago, on Tuesday, Nelson Mandela's


eldest daughter said that while she could see that her father was


suffering, on what she called his death bed, she said he continued to


inspire, continued to fight courageously, she said he continues


to teach us lessons. Thank you for now.


Remarkable scenes in Johannesburg because we have dancing and singing,


all of it dignified, of course, as you'd expect and really a show of


admiration and respect in the way that people want to share their


feelings and share their love for Mr Mandela. And to show that they're


there with the family too. Very nice scenes for us to be able to see,


these are the live images from Johannesburg now.


I do believe that we're joined on the line by the former South African


president FWDeKlerk. Good evening. Good evening. Thank you so much for


joining us on such a momentous day. Can I ask you your thoughts now that


you've heard the news of Mr Mandela's passing. It's a very sad


moment for the whole of South African and I'm -- South Africa and


I'm sure for millions of people around the world. I fully associate


myself with the dignified and feeling statement which President


Zuma made. I've become good friends with the late Nelson Mandela. We had


our moments of political opponents, but our retirement and at times,


during his presidency, we became very close. He's a remarkable man.


He was a remarkable man. Because legacy will be the emphasis on


reconciliation. He's a remarkable lack of bit Ernst. He -- bitterness.


He didn't only talk about reconciliation. He lived


reconciliation. He was a great union firing. -- unifier. Mr President, I


hope you can still hear me. Are you still there? I'm still here. Can you


hear me? Yes, we can. Very happy to hear you as well and pleased that


you're with us. The line sounded a little odd. But I'm glad you're


still there. What was the moment at which your relationship changed,


when you thought this was a man you could get on with? Yes, the very


first time I met him, he was brought under cover of darkness from his


home, where he was living. My first impression of him was he was taller


than I expected. He had a dignified air around him. He spoke with great


clarity. I found him an analytical listener. I immediately liked him


and there was a spark between us. That chemistry, as it developed, was


based on mutual respect. How did he come to show that respect given that


the apartheid regime had done so much for him. He had a remarkable


lack of bitterness, that he understood the concerns of my people


and what I represented in public life. And that he was prepared to go


out of his way to accommodate those concerns without giving up his


principle. From our side of negotiatiations, we also understood


the concerns of the ANC. We tried to accommodate it and all this led it a


remarkable agreement, a remarkable consensus, which is embodied in our


very good constitution. Mr President, how would you say that


the shape of modern South Africa bears the imprint of Mr Mandela?


What would you point to principally as his greatest legacy? I think his


greatest legacy and the influence on the South African nation is that we


are basically at peace with each other, notwithstanding our great


diversity, that we will be taking hands once again now, around our


common sadness and mourning. He's got this legacy that he was a


unifier and that he successfully built the bridge between the


conflict of the past and the peace of today.


As you speak to us, we're seeing images of you getting the Nobel


Prize and talking about unity, both of you shaking hands and celebrating


what you've achieved, all those years ago. Again, the warmth between


you is clear. I just want to finally thank you for being with us and ask


you for just a thought for the Mandela family and what they're


going through tonight. My wife and I have been close in our later years,


in these later years and we've reached out to his wife and to all


his children, also to Winnie, his former wife, his children and


grandchildren and great chand children, our -- great


grandchildren, we hold them in our sympathy. That was the former


president of South Africa, FWDeKlerk. More tributes in a second


because that's important, including President Obama. Wasn't that


fascinating, assen insight. For me, it was extraordinary. It's


interesting that President DE Klerk he took over from the last great


tyrant of South Africa, who was rigidly against compromise. None of


us knew where President De-Klerk would leave South Africa. I don't


think he knew where he would leave South Africa. He knew that he had to


do something. That stick him most when he met Nelson Mandela.


We are joined by the Reverend Jesse Jackson, thank you very much. Your


thoughts this evening? A moment of sadness, but Nelson Mandela took us


to unbelievable heights, this takes us to unbelievable depths, he was a


force for good. Having suffered on his way into prominence, with his


suffering and his vision, he chose at a critical moment reconciliation


over retribution. If he had she was in retribution for the years of


suffering, there would have been a bloody and divided both Africa even


today. But this sets an example for the world. Using the political


process for resolution. Not a violent one. The former president,


President FW de Klerk, seeing this man commanded authority we he went.


What was your experience that authority? He was a talented and


bright lawyer. Oliver is life was caught up -- all of his life was


caught up in this ambition to free his country. He came up in the


ranks, tried nonviolence for a wild, and the government was told rigid,


killing people with massacres in Soweto and other places, finally


becoming the general of the military arm of Free South Africa. A remember


him saying in our last conversation, when they finally find him, they had


been bombing installations, railroads and the like, and were


about to escalate again to attack some people, maybe hospitals and


schools, and he was glad he was caught, rather than suffering in


jail than killing innocent people. That's ends of principle, tough


mind, tender heart, was Nelson Mandela. Everywhere he went, there


was an army of people waiting to admire and express their views. And


yet, this was a man whose reputation change significantly. How did he


manage that a change and what was your perception of that? People have


the capacity to change and not the landlocked. He saw the power of


suffering and nonviolence. He saw the power of reconciliation. He saw


a new South Africa that would have to be a nonracial South Africa,


white people having a place, everyone having a place. He knew


there was some history of the role of Mahatma Gandhi. A strong Indian


constituency. He knew that some people would not support that. He


had to reconcile these moving parts and did so with a keen analytical


mind. But one thing that struck me when he came out of jail that


Sunday, after 27 years, piratical it he was. His mind remained sharp to


the very end. We have more remarkable scenes, this time from


Soweto. Such a symbolically important township, of course, where


there were a lot of incidents reported in the past, some of them


travelling. And right at the heart of the story of South Africa. As we


are seeing those images, we're there will be lots of grief, but also


celebrating, Mr Jackson, tell us how this is likely to impact on people


in the United States, where let's face it, there will be many millions


of people, black people, looking at this news and pondering what he


achieved but the future of South Africa, which in recent years has


been maybe more unsteady than it should have been? And steady,


because Africa is free but not equal. There is that economical


disparity where do people own the land and corporate power. Many


people language than poverty. That is unfinished business. -- more


people languish in poverty. Fighting against degradation, R Buddhism, --


fighting against degradation, and he fought against that. He could have


been the lifetime president. I'd have him comes Thabo Mbeki, then


Jacob Zuma. -- out of him. That is a part of his legacy. We end with a


lovely photograph of you with Nelson Mandela, and we thank you for your


comments tonight. Reverend Jesse Jackson there. I think on the line


from Johannesburg, we have the South African businessman, Saki Macozoma,


who spent time on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela. Thank you so much


for joining us. Can I have your thoughts on this sad news? Thank you


very much. I think this is something a lot of us had been expecting. He


had been ill for a long time. And I have been listening to all the


tributes that have been paid to him and I can confirm I have not heard


any exaggeration. When Nelson Mandela was released, I was in Cape


Town, I was there, I was going around South Africa at the time, and


remember fondly on that day. Whatever your memories of the


election itself? We are looking at those powerful, well-known images of


his release. Then the election that followed, what was your sense of the


transformation of South Africa on the day of the election? Actually,


that transformation took a couple of years before the election. The real


herculean task was the times when Nelson Mandela had to go into places


like Soweto, and people were being mown down by a known men in the


middle of the night and people would get into a train and killed,


innocent people. Those were the most difficult times. I remember those


trips with him, many a time, times when he had to call of negotiation


in order to put the point across that the government could not


negotiate on the one hand, and allows sinister forces to be keeping


people all around. Nelson Mandela also gained respect in the


negotiated settlement when he stood up to President FW de Klerk and the


dated him for not following the agreed protocol -- berated him. A


lot of people who might have lost faith in him realised that Nelson


Mandela was not a big teddy bear, that as smooth as he was, there was


strength to him. Still looking at nice images from South Africa, the


flag, being patriotic, clearly paying respect, and the question I


want to ask you now is about Robben Island, because earlier we were


discussing the transformation that happened for Mr Mandela, and you are


the best person to ask, what is your sense of how 27 years in jail


changed this man? He used to talk about it quite a lot about how the


patients he had -- about the patients he needed, that he was not


always a patient man, and he was often irritated, because all of the


time it would take so much time talking to one client, not making


much money in the process, and he said being on Robben Island, having


the time to read and think and contemplate and debate made him the


person that he was, to read about the struggles of other people, and


the stories of other leaders and what mistakes they had made. One of


the striking things when I arrived on Robben Island was how keen they


were to listen to those of buyers who were young at the time, coming


forth, trying to understand our psychology, what issues concerned as


most. And the generation that we were. Robben Island had a lot of


input for him, and the character that he became. That was not


something that came naturally, it was cultivated, part of preparing to


lead a people. Fascinating to Torquay to -- to talk to you and, on


today of all days, thank you. James Robbins is still here. The


former correspondent in South Africa during that amend this time in the


early 1990s. And one of our current correspondence now. She happens to


be in London at this time. For you, you mentioned earlier on the power


of the release of, and the fact that your mother was in tears when it


happened, and you were a young girl trying to grasp the enormity of what


was happening. Tell us today a full about the fact that this news


clearly is going to mean a lot to most South Africans, but they had


been expecting it for a long time. It is still a shock, and I want to


talk about the kind of mood we are seeing. Looking at these images now,


how would you describe to a UK audience why people would be dancing


and celebrating as part of the response to this news? South


Africans have always been described as a confused nation. When it comes


to South Africans protesting, you will see chanting and dancing on the


streets. When they are happy, the chant and dance and laugh and cry.


That is the spirit of South Africa, which was also harnessed by


President Nelson Mandela when he was preaching reconciliation. We are


likely to hear a lot of songs that were being sung, even during


apartheid, when Nelson Mandela was the leader of the armed struggle.


Both in and out of South Africa, songs that pay tribute to Nelson


Mandela, songs that they Nelson Mandela, -- that say to Nelson


Mandela, there is no one like you. And there is no one item anywhere in


South Africa. Look at Soweto, it is like a party. Underlined the


importance of Soweto? We are seeing those streets, because he used to


live on the streets, that house where people are celebrating and


morning showing the tutors, that is the house that has been turned into


a museum. -- celebrating and mourning. Not all South Africans can


fit into a hospital waiting room, or where he has been taken, but a lot


of, particularly black South Africans still living in townships


like Soweto, that place holds significance for a lot of South


Africans. Let us hold that thought, because we have been talking to some


people in Johannesburg since this news was announced, and this is the


kind of thing people are seeing there tonight. I am sad, but at the


same time, he has had his part in life and he did it very well. It is


fine that he goes, he did all he could, he was old, you know. It is a


tragedy, and we have lost a great hero, and people will be upset. It


is quite tragic, like being around the families and knowing that the


person you have no knowledge of life has gone. That is how we feel right


now. At the same time, we should celebrate what he has achieved and


given as. I would not be free if it was not for him. What a powerful


statement. Absolutely, and he said we should also celebrate. And those


scenes on that street. That is where, within a few days of Nelson


Mandela being released in prison, that is the one to which he


returned, -- released from prison, that is where he returned, and gave


his first interview to the BBC with me, within days of coming out of


prison. It was a powerful symbol for him. He insisted he wanted to go


back to Soweto, to his people. He did not want to put on the clothes


of a leader, but be back amongst his people in the home that was


important to him at the early stages of his life before going into prison


for such a long time, though he renewed his connection with the


people of South Africa, broken by that long imprisonment, and hugely


symbolic, and strange to see that house, which is now a museum, but


hardly surprising, and it is in a predominantly middle-class area of


Soweto. In the 1990s, to me, when he came out of prison, that was not


imaginable, because the black middle class was almost nonexistent. He and


others around him is shared in the poverty of Soweto, because that was


forced on them by apartheid. Job reservation, the insistence by white


South Africa that black people could only have their jobs, could only


have certain levels of education, the delivered minimisation of


spending on black education, all things holding black South Africa


back, he's so partly helped to change. -- so powerfully help to


change. This is a special programme from BBC News, we are reporting


about the death of Nelson Mandela at the age of 95. Many tributes have


been paid. People want to underline their admiration and love for Nelson


Mandela and what he has made to them, not just in South Africa but


across the world. Our correspondent considers the people and the places


which influenced Nelson Mandela and drove his struggle against the


partied regime. -- the apartheid regime. His story is remarkable. Few


in history have in history have injured oppression with such little


rancour or overcome the oppressor with such little bloodshed. I,


Nelson Mandela, do hereby swear to be faithful to the Republic of South


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


imprisoned for nearly 30 years, was sworn in as the first black


president of the country. Through his courageous leadership the


African National Congress had broken the stranglehold of partied and


transformed South Africa into a multiracial democracy. -- of


apartheid. Nelson Mandela was born in 1916 in the Eastern Cape of South


Africa. He was the son of a tribal chief. He qualified as a lawyer and


set up a partnership with a lifelong friend and ally, Oliver Tambo.


Together they campaigned against apartheid, an exercise in social


engineering under which the white minority in South Africa crushed the


aspirations of the black jollity. Mandela was among activists to be


charged of high treason. The trial lasted four years before the charges


were dropped. The Sharpeville massacre in 1964 speed ANC to change


strategy. The police opened fire on demonstrators. The ANC was outlawed


and peaceful resistance became a thing of the past. Many people fear


that it is useful and futile to continue a campaign of nonviolence


against a current -- a government whose only reply is savage action


against unarmed people. He undertook a campaign of sabotage against the


state. He was eventually arrested and charged with conspiracy to


overthrow the government. He made a three-hour speech from the Dock at


his trial. This was his final plea for freedom and democracy for all


South Africans will stop it was to a cold down the 27 years he remained a


political prisoner. Sentenced to life imprisonment, he


was sent to Robin Island, a top security prison in Table Bay in Cape


Town. Photographs of them were banned from publication.


Astonishingly, he was not embittered by his imprisonment. We are not


conducting a struggle against individual whites. In the course of


that struggle, we had formed friendships with people from the


other side. Outside, time is running out for apartheid. With the ANC


readership in jail, even the children in Soweto were helping to


sustain the revolution. The hardline government tried to crush the


uprising but gradually more liberal white people began to realise


Mandela was the solution, not the problem. An international campaign


was begun for the release of Nelson Mandela, as around the world,


governments impose sanctions on South Africa. In 1919 80, President


FW de Klerk announced the ANC would be on band. -- in 1990. Nelson


Mandela taking the first three steps into democracy. Nelson Mandela


walked to freedom with his then wife Winnie Mandela at his side. How soon


turned to despair. Township islands had blacks fighting blacks. And


Della repeatedly appealed for peace. Take your gun, your knife and throw


them into the river. -- Nelson Mandela repeatedly appealed for


peace. He cast his vote in the first multiracial elections. The result


was a landslide for the ANC. Nelson Mandela was president of the new


South Africa. 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 ANC in favour of


Thabo Mbeki, who also succeeded him as head of state.


Nelson Mandela was fated throughout the world, as here in London. There


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


ended. -- marriage. In 19 90, he married grass shell, the widow of


the late president of was unbeaten. -- Graca Machel. He enjoyed family


life which is long-term imprisonment had denied him. He visited Robben


Island again. He lit a candle to symbolise reconciliation. It was


passed to an African child to represent the hopes of the continent


for the future, I hope inspired by the life and ideals of one of the


truly great leaders of our time, Nelson Mandela.


Nicholas Witchel on the remarkable life and times of Nelson Mandela.


Let us stop to a professor from Johannesburg University. -- let us


talk to. Thank you for joining us. I should ask you for your tribute and


your thoughts tonight. It is a very poignant moments. Nelson Mandela was


one of our most illustrious other night. He had spent many years


there, with many of his contemporaries. They went on as a


collective to transform our country and to do so in a way that could


only be better. For most South Africans and especially students,


staff and other night of this university it is a very sad moment.


We are seeing lots of images of people in Johannesburg and in


Soweto, of people who have gathered at the former family home. What do


you think people want to see in the days and weeks that head, what kind


of recognition and what kind of state formality would be like to see


which would do justice to this man? I think what everybody would like to


see is that the death of Nelson Mandela brings this country together


like nothing else has. He is the one symbol which can unite South Africa


in the way nothing else can. He can unite people across class, religion


and race. In the days ahead you will see that. That is quite an elaborate


system are to honour Nelson Mandela. It will be done officially through


the union house. There will be a big memorial service in Johannesburg.


There will be another big funeral service in the chance gal. -- in the


Eastern Cape. We will see South Africans coming together in ways we


have not seen before. You will see the world coming together because


Nelson Mandela was the greatest son of South Africa, but he was also an


icon for the world. Across the world, people involved in struggles


against oppression and exploitation use him as a symbol to unite that


struggle. We will see the world coming together to honour what is a


magnificent life, a magnificent contribution not only to South


Africa and the continent, but to the whole of humanity. As you speak


recess, the British Foreign Secretary has offered his own


tribute. # as you speak, Professor. He says his name will go down


through the ages for his immense contribution to Africa and the world


and his tireless work to peace and reconciliation. His example to us


all of tireless courage and fortitude. What for you is the place


in history that people should be recognising today? I think there are


two things. One of the most striking things about him is that he gave up


power after five years. He could have been a life president. After


five years, he handed over power to Thabo Mbeki. He gave up the


political presidency but he became a global icon and became a symbol for


freedom across the world. That is what people should remember. He


spent 27 years in prison and came out, at that point, he saw South


Africa needed reconciliation. He stood up for reconciliation. He


united South Africans. He gave South Africa the moment where it could


route its democracy, that moment of peace which are loaded to avoid a


civil war. It allowed it to establish a firm democracy. We have


serious problems of inequality and poverty, we have serious


challenges, but what is not questionable is the fact we will


move forward as a stable political system. That possibility was


bequeathed to us by Nelson Mandela. It was a pleasure to talk to you.


Thank you very much. Thank you. We have had tributes from all around


the world. No fewer than four former US Presidents have been paying


tribute to Mr Mandela, to his achievements and his life. We are


reporting here his death at the age of 95. President Jacob Zuma


announced his death just a couple of hours ago, paying tribute to this


remarkable contribution, not just to South Africa but to the cause of


justice around the world. Former US presidents joining in the tributes.


President Obamas, of course the first lack American president, has


been expressing his feelings and paying his tribute to Nelson


Mandela. At his trial in 1964, Nelson Mandela composed a statement


saying, I have fought against white domination and black domination. I


have 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. 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. Today he has gone home. We have lost one of the 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 Angels. For his fears dignity and unbending will


to sacrifice his own freedom for the sake of others, he transformed South


Africa and 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, to


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


should aspire to. President Obama speaking at the White House in the


last hour. Very keen to pages tribute to former president Mandela


of South Africa. Tributes from all over the world. Including here in


London as Prime Minister Cameron has been speaking in Downing Street


tonight. One of the brightest lights of our world has gone out tonight.


Nelson Mandela was not just the hero of our time, but I hero of all time.


The first president of a free South Africa, a man who suffered so much


for freedom and justice, and a man who, through his dignity and


triumph, inspired millions. The strongest impression of all when you


met him was of his extraordinary compassion and generosity and


forgiveness. Tonight, families across Britain will mourn with his


family and everyone in South Africa. Your greatest son has moved


millions and I believe that his inspiration for the future will be


every bit as parcel as the extraordinary things -- will be


every bit as powerful as the extraordinary thing they achieved in


his remarkable life. David Cameron speaking a short while ago. The Duke


and Duchess of Cambridge have earlier this evening been attending


the premiere of a film of Nelson Mandela's life. She time ago, they


gave their reaction. -- short time ago. Sad and tragic news and we are


reminded what an extraordinary and inspiring man he was. Thoughts and


prayers are with his family right now. That was the brief but solemn


response from the Duke and just -- Duke and Duchess of Cambridge


attending that film premiere. All around the world, over the next 24


hours, there will be moments of silence. People will want to reflect


on the astonishing contribution and achievements of former President


Mandela. This is what happened at the United Nations short while ago.


-- a short while ago. Those gathered from nations all around the world,


standing respectfully and with dignity in silence to mark the news


that Nelson Mandela has passed away at the age of 95. Let us speak to


someone who knows the Mandela family very well. On the line we have an


opposition leader who knows the family and he is from the Eastern


Cape, the area where Mr Mandela grew up and stop thank you so much for


joining us. What are your thoughts tonight? We join the rest of the


world in passing condolences to the Mandela family. He lived very well


during his innings, Madiba, and when he said to as some years back, I


think we were in London at the concert, it is now in your hands. We


knew what that meant. It was a way forward. And we feel strongly that


the teachings of Mandela should never be forgotten by this country,


especially the discipline he displayed during the time he was in


jail, during the time he was outside, but being consistent that


his fighting for the quality of lives for South Africans. What has


been your contact with the family in recent days? I was with the family


earlier this afternoon and I had the privilege also of seeing Madiba,


then I left and the family, you could see that they have no more or


less accepted the reality. And when they said, in the last few days,


that he was at peace, is that conclusion that you would also offer


after your contact in the 24 hours? At peace? At least. -- at peace.


Madiba, since he left hospital, he kept staying in his bed, kept quiet,


all alone, and I do not think the family was wrong to say he was at.


-- he was at peace. This afternoon, you could see he was struggling to


breathe. You say you knew him and the family, and he was strong minded


character, very strong willed, and lots of people describing this


length of his character. What was your experience of that and how


challenging could he be if he was very determined? Well, Madiba, I


would say he was a courageous man, and when it was not fashionable, in


the 1960s, he called for the ANC two embark on a struggle against


apartheid, whilst others thought they could negotiate with the


apartheid government. Later on, the same Madiba had the courage to say


to stop fighting and to negotiate. Others were still keen to fight on.


Really, this is the person who was taking decisions at critical times


for the benefit of the country. This is Madiba who spoke directly to


decision-makers. I remember actually talking about George Bush Snr, it


was in 1992, when he called him with his authority to have -- authority


to approach, asking George Bush to request his UN representative to


endorse the resolution to send monitors to monitor violence in


South Africa, before we left together from New York, he had got


all the leaders and we knew that by the time we presented our case, that


this request would be endorsed, so he was very authoritative, but with


humility and also he connected with all kinds of people with ease,


because he was not an assuming person. Thank you so much for


spending time talking to us. Thank you. While he was sharing his views,


we have been gathering some views in and around Johannesburg, where lots


of people have been ready to talk and share their tributes and


thoughts having him the news of his death. I am sad, but at the same


time, I think he has had his part in life and he did it very well. It is


fine that he goes. He did all he could, he was old, yeah. A real


tragedy, we have lost a great hero in South Africa. Quite tragic. Like


being around the family's home and that the person you know all your


life has gone. It is tragic, sad, but I think we should celebrate what


he has achieved and what he has given us. I would not be free if it


was not for him. Such power and strength in those tributes, and


there will be more. Just chatting there, and trying to get into the


area of personality and strength, and the caller was being diplomatic,


just wanting to reinforce and there are people who are big allies today


who were maybe -- who maybe had big differences in the past? There were


egg differences. -- there were big political differences. Those also


led to President Mandela expelling some members. But there was still a


connection. There was still a family connection. In the media, we have


seen the fact that there are clashes between certain numbers members of


the family. And one diplomatic person was the negotiator between


the family and government for them to reconcile, going back to them,


saying that Mandela is a brand, the family needs to emulate what Mandela


stands for. That is what the family needs to see. And thoughts, now we


are in the last few minutes of this part of the coverage, really as well


about what Mr Mandela made of the South Africa that is to date, over


20 years after he was released, and after his period in office, ending


in the late 1990s, he made his views plain about some developments. What


was his take on modern South Africa and was he overwhelmingly happy with


the shape of it? We do not think he was overwhelmingly happy, but happy


with the overriding truth of freedom. He could be very caustic.


He spoke out famously when in London against President Mugabe in


Zimbabwe, against many people he thought had abused power, and he was


certainly privately very critical of some of the directions that his


successors in the presidency led South Africa into. But very careful


and cautious not to undermine them publicly, because as far as he was


concerned, the important thing was that they had been elected in a


proper, democratic process, unlike anything that could have happened if


he had not brought it about. And we saw fleetingly the diplomats that


the security council in the United Nations in New York standing around


that table in tribute, silent tribute. That was a powerful piece


of symbolism, not unprecedented, but very rear for such a thing to


happen. -- very rare. Recognising, surely, a true peacemaker, when they


are so often divided over issues of peace and war, not finding it


difficult to unite behind the memory of Nelson Mandela. Thank you both


for your company. Thank you for sharing your experiences. That is it


from me, there is continuing coverage here on the BBC on the


death of the former president Nelson Mandela, the first like presidents


-- the first black president of South Africa. We leave you with


images that defined a remarkable lifetime.


There are many people who feel it is useless and futile for us to


continue talking peace and nonviolence against the government


whose reply is only savage attacks. One and an people -- on a non-armed


and defenceless people. It is something for which I am prepared to


die. One of the things that is difficult


for me to comprehend is that I spent such a long time here.


There is Mr Mandela, Mr Nelson Mandela, after the man that backdrop


a free man. We have realised our greatest team of being free at last.


In our own country. Never, never, and never again, shall


aid the that this beautiful land shall again experience the operation


of one by another. It is time for a new heads to lift


the Burtons. It is in your hands now. -- left the burdens.


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