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This is a special edition of rock Mac with me backing the life of
Nelson Mandela, the lawyer, freedom fighter, activist, president and
global icon who goes down as one of the tolling figures of the 20th
century. He leaves a nation in mourning. His friends Archbishop
Desmond Tutu pays his respects. We are relieved that his suffering
is over. But our relief is drowned in our grief.
In the township of Soweto, news of Nelson Mandela's death provokes
sadness and an outpouring of emotion. The man who taught South
Africa to overcome hatred, the words of President Zuma, as he announces
the funeral in nine days' time. Hello and welcome. The death of
Nelson Mandela, frail in health and advanced in years, may not have come
as is a prize, but nevertheless it marks the end of an era and his
grief brought tributes from home and abroad. The man who had impressed
many with his humility and dignity and above all Magnum in 80.
We are here in Vilakazi Street, the roads were the old home of Nelson
Mandela was. It has become the most extraordinary focal point. Lots of
South Africans went to bed last night before they got news of the
passing, but once they got here, passing, but once they got here
many people have made their way to this place which has become a real
special point of attention. We have lots of people in the streets
earlier and they have gone past in waves, chanting, dancing and singing
in the most joyful way. When you ask people why there are so many
smiles, they say they are celebrating Madiba's life, as they
know him affectionately. It has been, bizarrely, a day of
celebration. They come from all walks of life and
from all communities. To pay their respects outside the home of Nelson
Mandela. The sense of bereavement is palpable. For some, almost private,
personal. But this is also a coming together, a nation united in
mourning but also in celebration of the life of the man they call
Madiba. People are celebrating the life of
Nelson Mandela. I think that what he would have wanted was for people to
celebrate his life. As South Africa prepares for a state
funeral of unprecedented proportions, does turn to what kind
of nation Nelson Mandela leaves behind.
We will always love Madiba for teaching us that it is possible to
overcome hatred and anger. In order to build a new nation and a new
society. For decades, the struggle against
apartheid looked like it might be crushed a brutal regime. A system
that applied violence and racist ideology in equal measure to oppress
South Africa's black majority. But Nelson Mandela's achievement and
mated to more than the victory of the oppressed of the oppressors
I think his greatest legacy to the world is the emphasis which he has
always puts on the need for reconciliation.
Nelson Mandela went to present an angry young man. A fighter committed
to defeating his enemies with violence if necessary.
27 years later, he emerged reaching reconciliation but he never give up
the struggle. I have no doubts that each and every
one of you can see with authority and confidence that I have travelled
this long road to freedom. I trust I did not falter. I made missteps
along the way but I have discovered that after crossing a great Hill,
one only finds that there are many more hills to cross.
His message has been an inspiration to millions, at home, in Africa and
beyond. He achieved more than could be
expected of any man. Today he has gone home and we have lost one of
the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that
any of us will ever share time went on this earth.
It would be a hard heart indeed that wasn't moved by the spectacle, these
flowers and these messages, many written by children born in a
post-apartheid South Africa, messages that all boil down to one
thing, Madiba, thank you for freeing our country.
In death as in life, Nelson Mandela's unique ability to bring
people together and to lift their spirits means and end.
-- and didn't -- undimmed. In a few seconds ago, a white card
drove past and the owner has graffitied rest in peace my
president all over it. The ordinary people of South Africa and the world
have been reacting but there has been a huge reaction when someone of
this magnitude dies from world leaders. Our diplomatic
correspondent takes us through some of that reaction.
Intra- Wagner Square in London this morning, the flag on South Africa
House was at half-mast -- in Trafalgar Square. Tributes were
beginning to pile up. Among the mourners who came to sign the book
of condolence, David Cameron. The abiding memory I have is just
seeing him in Johannesburg and him talking about the people who had
imprisoned him and the suffering he had undergone and yet his complete
forgiveness, his total lack of malice towards those who had done
this to him. Across the Atlantic, the American
flag was also raised to half-mast on the White House and President Obama
made a heartfelt tribute which was deeply personal.
I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson
Mandela's life. My very first political action, the first thing I
ever did, it involved an issue - ever did, it involved an issue --
that involved an issue or politics, was campaign against apartheid.
He was mourned not just in time Square but at the United Nations
where diplomats paused in silence -- Times Square.
China's president recalled his friendship, India's president
lamented the passing of a giant Russia called him an outstanding
politician and Brazil said he was one of the greatest figures of the
20th century. Tributes also came from African leaders.
We will all miss most cherished of Africa's sons and a true hero.
President Nelson Mandela lived an extraordinary life in a very
ordinary way. The Queen said she member at her
meetings with Mandela with great warmth and was deeply saddened.
Prince Charles, who took camera and Brixton, recalled his humour and
courage. He seemed to have touched everyone who met him. Former US
President Bill Clinton said he had lost a true friend. Tony Blair has
said he was a great man who made racism not just a moral but stupid.
South African actress Charlize Theron said his impact would live
for ever. By chance last night was the London
premiere of the new film of his life. The Duke and Duchess of
Cambridge were in attendance and visibly shocked when it was
announced. My thoughts and prayers are with him
and his family right now. More members of the Royal family
were at South Africa House this morning. For a towering figure his
impact on the world has surely been monumental.
The people continue to come past year, people just arriving down the
street to look at what is going on and pay tribute. I have managed to
talk to a couple of people here tonight. You were born and have
grown up in this very area. Yes, I was born here in Soweto, so I
remember very well when Mandela was released. It was a Monday and the
weather was like this. It was a bit cloudy and training. We were so
excited. I didn't know much about Mandela but I was excited and very
happy. We were told he would deliver a speech so we went there and were
very happy. But now the wheels have turned and Mandela is gone but we
don't regret because he did a very good job for us.
You are 13 years old, I believe What does Nelson Mandela mean to
your generation? He fought for freedom some most
people are glad he came out of jail. But now we are very cranked up
because he passed away. We have to learn about him more because our
future leaders must be like him. You have grown up not knowing about
the struggle of apartheid but what he did before you were even in this
world is very important. I was confused as to who Mandela was
so now I know all about him because I have read a lot.
How do celebrations combine with the sorrow?
I think we don't need to cry although it is sad. We need to
celebrate our black Jesus, Mr Madiba. He has done a lot for us. We
love him, we love him so much. It is sad that we need to celebrate his
life. He is happy wherever he is. Now that he has passed away, do you
have fears that South Africa will lose the path it is on?
Not at all. Not with Mandela's spirit around us. Nothing will
change. I you confident that Nelson
Mandela's legacy will carry on? Very confident because there is no
chance of us doing anything else. People might say South Africa still
has many challenges. With Nelson Mandela be satisfied with South
Africa today? I would say yes and no. I would say
yes and no. These last 24 hours have been sad
but very special for you. Some of the things he was going to
be proud of them but some things he wouldn't be happy with.
Thanks so March. We wish you all the best. It was a very amazing evening
to be here cause it is just such an incredible atmosphere. More people
are coming into the street. We expect the strange celebratory but
also sorrowful mood to continue. That was my colleague they are in
the township of service through. Nelson Mandela is not only the
father of the modern South African nation, greatly loved by his
people, he was also a giant on the African stage and a global icon. We
African stage and a global icon We have heard much of his legacy since
his death but there are different aspects to this. We will be
assessing his impact at home in a moment but first let us focus on
Africa. Listen to those young South Africans they are talking about him.
It is extraordinary how this elderly man brought up by parents from an
18th-century is still relevant. Yes I was speaking to a 15-year-old and
a 23-year-old and they said for them, I didn't expect to have a Cem
of he brought them liberation, but they did. I said to the 15-year-old,
what does liberation mean to you, because you didn't live under
apartheid. He said, we sea the scars of it in the country. They also hear
about the scars of apartheid as you did from your own paurnts - parents.
Do you think when you have a generation of South Africans, who
don't hear the stories of the oppression and discrimination, that
they might perhaps start seeing a different South Africa and not
remember Nelson Mandela in the same way? Well the one thing is it is
taught in schools and they learn about his contribution to the
country. So there has been an effort to make sure that is not forgotten.
Your parents were act Vis in the -- activists in the ANC and had to flee
to the UK. When they went back and relocated to South Africa, were they
grateful to Nelson Mandela? It is hard to put into words. When they
left South Africa, they weren't people in their country. And to go
back being able to and to able to take part in the process that led to
us being a democratic country and to... I remember them talking about
queueing and queueing just to vote. This opportunity to have a say in
the country you were born in. I remember my aunt telling me how they
were not a I aI o' - allowed to own property or land in their own
country. It is just unbelievable the sort of just how huge it was. So it
is, it had changed and it has changed for them now. Somebody like
you, who has lived in multicultural and multiracial Britain, where
people can mix and can we talk about South Africa even today in the same
way that it is multiracial and that if you have a mixed marriage, people
won't turn over their shoulders and have a look? I think it is a work in
progress. I know people in mixed marriages. Members of my family are
in mixed marriages and friends are in mixed marriages. That is common
in South Africa? It is obviously, there are obviously still... Scars
that still have to heal. One thing you notice when you go back to South
Africa is the way race is talked about is different from how it is
here. But it is a progress of work, a work in progress and something
South Africans are open about and it is a discussion they're having. I
won't embarrass you by saying how old you are on air, but you're
relatively young and having been brought up in Europe you have got
friends from all different races and so on. This a the same case poor
people your aning in South Africa -- age in South Africa or younger
still. Is there a true meeting of the races? I think it depends on
your pack grounds. -- background. Many people my age wept to mixed --
went to mixed schools. People younger than me are used to having
friendships across the colour divide. Maybe for people older than
me it may be more difficult. But the country is a work in progress. So
the rainbow coalition what is we have been talking about. Thank you.
Nelson Mandela's contribution to South Africa is almost immeasurable
for averting a descent possibly into civil war during the difficult path
to democracy. To look at his legacy in more detail, I am joined by
William Gumede, author of several highly acclaimed books and also
wrote the foreword to the collection of Nelson Mandela's writings and
speeches. Would you say the overriding achievement of Nelson
Mandela is he is often quoted almost single-handedly from preventing
South Africa descending into civil war's exactly. Exactly. The
constitutional democracy that we have here now I'll also he set a
gold standard for Democratic leadership, South Africans will
always be able to compare ourselves to what should be equality. There
are those who say that Nelson went too far in stretching his hand out
to the Afrikaners and not doing enough to dismantle the economic
supremacy of the white South Africa. In the early 90s, the big
thing for Mandela and the focus of all Hobbit his energy was -- all of
his energy, bringing South Africans like and whites together. His focus
was not an the economy. If you go back to South Africa in around 994,
it was a period of time where we were taught the prospects and it was
chance for him to hitting piece -- for him to get peace. He will hand
over to his successors rather than focusing on the economic side of it.
There has been lots of progress economic league in South Africa but
still a great deal to do. There is a great deal of dissatisfaction that
there is not the advancement that lots of people would like. Do people
feel they would have liked Nelson Mandela to have used his authority
and integrity to better lay the foundations for that kind of
progress? Really, if we look back at the Democratic negotiations in the
90s, what Nelson Mandela could have done better, they could have focused
more robustly on economic negotiations. There was a naivete
from the ANC negotiators but it was a time when activists and those who
were journalists and researchers said we did not press the point to
focus on the economy much more strongly. There was the naive belief
that all one needs to do is just to take elliptical power and once you
have that power, it will be easy to push forward and economic
transformation project. The reality is not so easy. What about the
Mandela name? We know he has a rather large family and some wayward
members who have not perhaps been brought under control. What do you
think will happen to be name of Mandela now that he is no longer
here? The Mandela name is a global brand. He was even bigger than the
ANC and there is right now a battle for the Mandela name and it is
associated -- and what it is associated with. We ask people to
respect the democratic values and the caring values he stood for. His
political life, his integrity. To focus on that rather than to demean
the Mandela brand and name. Thank you, William Gumede. Let's take a
shot rake away from those events in South Africa and bring you a summary
of some of the other main stories today. Hundreds of people here in
the UK have been mopping up flooded homes after hurricane force winds
kicked up tidal surges across northern Europe. Rising waters
prompted thousands of evacuations on the eastern English coast. In one
town, houses fell into the sea as waves eroding cliffs. Police in
Egypt have views tear gas to end clashes. Today's competition began
when pro-Muslim Brotherhood supporters came face to face with
opposing crowds. Supporters have held regular protests.
That's reminding of our main story, the South African President Jacob
Zuma has been leading the tributes to Nelson Mandela who died on
Thursday night at the age of 95 Mr Zuma said the outpouring of love was
unprecedented. He said Nelson Mandela had taught South Africans it
was possible to overcome hatred and to build a new nation. We leave you
with some reaction to his death. Goodbye.
The founding president of our democratic nation has departed.
# When I get older, I will be stronger,
# Born to a throne... He achieved more than can be
expected of any man. Today he has gone home. His legacy is so
powerful, he will live for generations. For an African to stand
out and not to fear everything, to feel confident, that is what he
taught us. He is celebrated because when he went to prison, lots of
people have gone to prison and have gone back. He forgave.
# When I get older, I will be stronger, they will be freedom.
Good evening. The storm which battered as yesterday has been
causing all sorts of problems in Europe and the last 24 hours, racing
across Denmark, Scandinavia, battering the north coast of Poland,
blizzards here and ending up nudging into Belarus and western Russia. For
into Belarus and western Russia For us, it has become more quiet. But
there is a bit of snow on the way tonight. Light and patchy rain for
most of us but across parts of Scotland and into northern England,
some snow and an ice risk for the morning. Lots of cloudy skies across
northern England tomorrow and East Anglia looking, a bit calmer. Some
rain but a bit damp for most of us towards the south of