tv Taking Stock With Pimm Fox Bloomberg December 5, 2013 5:00pm-6:01pm EST
>> nelson mandela as died today. it has just been announced. nelson mandela, who spent 27 years in prison. he was the first black elected president of stojakovic in 1994. let's learn more about his life. >> a freeman taking his first steps into a new south africa. >> from prisoner to president. nelson mandela's 1990 release from jail signaled the end of south africa's racist policy of apartheid. he would go on to become the untry's first true democratically elected leader.
>> i, nelson mandela do here swear to be faithful to the republic of south africa. >> born to a chief of a small village, mandela was one of 13 children and the first member of his family to attend school. in the 1930's he began opposing authority and the authorities that made colored south africans second-class citizens. as white south africa became more aggressive, so did he. as the head of the armed wing of the african national congress, mandela led violent sabbatini town hall attacks and was arrested and tried in 1962. he would spend 27 years in jail, but he was never forgotten. eventually international and
internal pressure led the president to announce apartheid would be dismantled and mandela would walk free. but rather than secret bution, mandela reached out to his former oppressors and tried to heal a divided nation. >> in 1993 he and declercq shared the nobel peace prize. >> we appreciated the contribution they have made toward the development of this country. >> in 1994 he voted for the first time with millions of his fellow black south africans. he became a statesman, an international icon. for south africa, he was a symbol of the country it wanted to be despite struggles with poverty, racism and aids. feel any hatred,
bitterness, feel any idea for revenge or recrimination. >> many will remember this. mandela celebrating south africa's place on the world stage, hosting the world cup. >> a simple tribute from a child sums up his place in south africans' hearts. it reads thank you for our dignity. >> nelson mandela, dead at the age of 95. our chief washington correspondent peter cook is on khalil now with some -- on capital hill with reaction. he was similar in many cases to george washington. he served one term. he was elected in 1994 and did not choose to run again. >> that's right. and obviously his impact on south africa much more prodigious than that one term in office. again, the impact he had not just on south africa, but on
other nations as well, the global impact, a nobel peace prize winner. he had a great impact here on politics even in the united states. someone who of course is a big focal of the anti-apartheid movement and the whole call for sanctions here in the united states while he was imprisoned. we are starting to get early reactions from members of congress, some of whom have met with nelson mandela in the past. we are waiting word from the white house. president obama is sure to have something to say about this in the next bit. most of the comments we are seeing already from congress, praising nelson mandela, the life he lived and what he meant not only to south africa, but to the world as a whole. i expect we are going to get a lot more of those comments in the next bit as people take stock of this man's life. he had been sick for sometime. we spoke in the last hour about the fact that president obama was in africa when there was a
concern that maybe nelson mandela's health was failing him then and perhaps the president might visit. that didn't happen at the time, and now we get word that at age 95, nelson mandela has passed on. i expect to hear a significant amount of reaction from the united states to this news. >> we have gotten news that president obama will be making a statement at about 20 minutes past the hour. in that report you spoke about mandela, of nelson and the lack of rancor he had toward past enemies. that has not meant peaceful times though? >> no. but you can imagine what it would be like had nelson mandela not reached out that way after he left prison in 1990. it has been documented in
films. a new film out documenting nelson mandela and the decisions he made, the action he he took and the message he delivered at that time. i will take myself back to my college days and a class i took happened to have a particular focus on south africa when i was in college. we had a visitor in class, and it was someone who had served on robin island with nelson mandela. they had been sell mates together or on the same cell block. he told a powerful story about the impact nelson mandela had on him and the guards in the prison. he was still in prison at the time, and this person talked about how the guards at robin island understand stood what sort of man mandela was, respected him, listened to him, were eddie educated by him. that was a powerful message no a young college student about
this person who went on to become president of stojakovic. >> any recollection of affect that mandela has had on american politics? >> i think the president will speak to that in just a short time. the question that the first african-american president certainly watched what happened with nelson mandela in stojakovic. it had had.tory it has had an affect on politics here, the anti-apartheid movement, to pass sanctions here in congress, the debate that took place here in the united states over constructive engagement. >> also the withdrawal of u.s. investment dollars to companies that did business with the apartheid regime? >> absolutely. there were some companies
facing some very tough decisions at that time. and we have a lot of discussion about sanctions ever since. that is going to be part of nelson mandela's history. the legacy not just in south africa, but in this country as well. >> as far as u.s. politics go, when nelson mandela would come and speak with u.s. representatives, did you find there was anything that changed as a result of his meetings? >> my sense is the few times where i had been covering it, the question was how many people could get in a room to get their picture taken with the man. that was the kind of impact he had, and people from both parties respected what he did nobel omplished, the peace prize. they wanted to be associated with him and wanted to learn from him as well. you will find no shortage of praise for nelson mandela's
>> breaking news from bloomberg. this is "taking stock" on bloomberg. i am pimm fox. nelson mandela, former president of south africa has died at the age of 95. nelson mandela was the leader of his country. he became president in 1994. joining us now via telephone from johannesburg is bloomberg wilde. l reporter franz
what is the move there? >> we can say very little because it is the middle of the night. midnight.t gone i have just driven through johannesburg and there is really nobody out and about. zuma was say is that very somber when he appeared on tv just a few moments ago. everyone is incredibly sad. this is a moment that south africans have been preparing for, for a long time. lmost the last 12 months there has been an almost daily expectation they may come. >> you have been reporting from south africa for four years. when you look at those four years, what role has mandela
played in people's image of their country? >> mandela is still and will be for some wild, possibly forever, the looming figure in politics. there has been a lot of trepidation about what will appen when he does pass away simply because his role has been so important. i have just actually arrived at his house, and the area is blocked off by police with flashing lights. coming e a few citizens to the house on foot presumably to see what is going on, possibly to pay their respects already. mandela, since i have been here, has not been 100% in terms of being present. but everyone has still always referred to him and looked to
him as kind of the guiding light of south african politics. >> has there been any controversy surrounding mandela recently as well as his home are and potential funeral? >> there has some controversy surrounding his family, and there have been fights within rights to egarding a company that he set up for the benefit of his family. fighting always been within his family regarding where he should be buried. so that has somewhat overshadowed his legacy in the past. i think in the greater scheme of things, nobody will look back and remember those. what people will remember is the man himself.
>> can you describe a little bit more of the scene at mandela's house and whether you now what the next steps are? >> i am afraid i am not able to get any closer. i am about to walk in, and i will be able to describe more then. is -- can say to far clearly tomorrow is going to be a day of mourning, whether official or not. preparations for a state funeral of the highest order will be made immediately, i am , and i'm sure in the morning south africans in their masses will go to their places of worship or will come to this house and pay their respects to someone. many south africans have a very
personal love for him even if they have never met him themselves. >> tell us about the neighborhood, tell us about the location where you are, if you can give us any comparative so people can understand what it is like to be there in johannesburg? >> sure. he comes from sovereign wetto, the township, which has historically always been very poor. in s the biggest town johannesburg. that has kind of always been home. he lives in an up market suburb in johannesburg. he lives in a fairly quiet
treet here, very large properties, big houses, leafy trees everywhere. since the end of apartheid, he has had a property here. >> what has been the relationship of his image to the a.n.c., the african national congress. >> as before, he is definitely the biggest name, the biggest figure to come out of the a.n.c. he was the one who in the 40's formed the a.n.c. youth league. he then radicalized the a.n.c. and convinced the a.n.c. to pursue a program of sabotage against the apartheid
government. he has always been the person everyone looks to. in his later years, he has faded. he has not had the presence to lead the organization anymore, but he has always been the point of reference. he has always been the one anyone would refer to if they the moral high ground, or if they wanted to talk about the direction of the country. >> now, is there a divide we need to understand when we think about south africa that still exists economically as well as educationally and socially? >> there has been a huge divide in south africa. south africa remains a very unequal society. white south africans on average earn six times more than the
average black south africans. there is a huge racial component to all of this. psychologically there are huge racial divisions. economically, a lot of the economic assets remain in white hands. recently in the last few years, that has increasingly become a big talking point in a lot of political circles. there are a lot of poor black south africans who remain unemployed, who may not feel they have benefited from the end of apartheid. >> we are bringing in ian bremer, the founder of the euro asian group. he is on the phone. what role did nelson mandela play on the world stage?
>> it was unique. you look around the world today, and absent of the kind leaders and al statesmen that mandela represented. if people like gorbachev, yu and others in singapore. but he did not just capture the imagination of the country and the continent, but of the entire world in thinking about prospects of hope. there are people who have things like that on all sides of the political spectrum. but none really walked and talked the way that mandela did. his legacy in south africa will be unmatched of that of anyone we can think about. >> we are awaiting president
obama. he is set to give a statement on the death of nelson mandela from the white house. what impacts has nelson mandela had on u.s. president politics? >> two things. first of all, i did want to make a point, which in south africa, there is actually going to be a lot of impact here. he a.n.c. has elections coming up, and they have had a hard time of it. the economy has had a difficult time. the a.n.c. has never gotten since 2% of the vote mandela was in charge of the country. they were set to under perform, and now they are not. now the vote turn out will be great, and it will be very solidly pro a.n.c. the legacy of mandela is really
going to matter there. for the united states, in recent years mandela has had the kind of impact that martin luther king had. -- unifying union figure that gets beyond race. some of the best moments that you see in american statesmanship reflects the kind of rhetoric and ideals that mandela actually lived by. but when you look at congress today, when you look at what happened to obama in the knife years since he was initially elected, i think we are very r, sadly, from mandela's legacy in the united states. i think when you look at the global stage and you ask there that is the kind of statesman that
mandela really represented to the world, and you scratch your head. we are just not in that enviroent today. we don't have anyone coming to mind that would fit those shoes. they are very big shoes indeed. > yen, one of the fame he is images is of nelson mandela attending the soccer world when it came to stojakovic. what role did that play? >> he was very frail at the time. there was a big question of whether or not he would be able to make it at all. there was south africa appearing on the global stage in the same way that when bengal hosted the olympics, marking the coming of age of china as a real international actor of global capacity. it was so fitting that mandela was able to see that through
for his country. i wasn't there, but i of course watched it on tv, as we all did, and you can't tell that it electrifying moment, bringing south africans as a nation together, and also an xpress of joy and harm -- arm hone globally that we experienced on the football pitch, the olympics in ways we very rarely do in any other aspects of society today. >> i want to break in, yeen. let's listen to president obama speaking from the white house on nelson mandela. >> nelson mandela closed his tatement from the dock saying, "i have fallout against white domination, and i have fought against 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 achief. 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. today he has gone home, and we have lost one of the most influential, courageous and beings y good human will share time with on this earth. he no longer belongs to us. he belongs to the ages. through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, he transformed south africa and moved all of us. his journey from a prisoner to
a president emboddened the promise that huge beings and countries can change for the per. -- 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 humor, and an ability to acknowledge his own imperfections only makes the man that much more rrkable. as he ones said, i am not a saint unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying. 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 shah involved an issue, or a policy or politics, was a protest
against apartheid. i would study his words and his writings. the day he was released from prison, he gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they are guided by their hopes and not by their fears. like so many around the globe, i could not fully imagine my life without the example that nelson mandela set. and so long as i live, i will do what i can to learn from him . to michelle and -- to his family, michelle and i extend our deepest sympathy and gratitude for sharing this extraordinary man with us. his life's work meant long days away from those who loved him most. i only hope that the time spent with him these last few weeks brought peace and comfort to his family. to the people of south africa, we draw strength from the
example of renewal, and reconciliation and resilience that you made real. a free south africa at peace with itself. that is an example to the worlt and that is madev archer's legacy to the nation he loved. we will not likely see the likes of nelson mandela again. so it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set, to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love. to never discount the difference that one person can make. to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice. for now let us pause and give thanks for the fact that nelson mandela lived, a man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe torts justice.
may god bless his memory and keep him in peace. >> president obama speaking at the white house on the death of nelson mandela, the former president of south africa, dead at the age of 95. the president speaking about the road from prisoner to president and the peaceful transfer of power in south africa. here to tell us more, i want to joining john walcott, us from washington, d.c. tell us more about nelson mandela. you have interviewed him and spoken with him? >> i have, and it was a privilege. as the president said, it was a privilege for all of the thousands of people who met him. one of the most remarkable people i have ever met. i never had a chance to meet ghandi and others, but he is absolutely in that league. at a time our politicians here in the united states seem to
ave trouble reaches across the aisle, this man reached across a chasm that seems almost unimaginable and brought the two sides that as a reporter in the 1980's i did not think was possible. >> can you describe your meeting? where was it, how long was it, and what was it like to be in the same room? >> it was in the 1990's in a visit he made here to washington. hour as i out an recall. there was a small group of us there. this was a man who simply took control of the room in the way that few others do because he had an inner peace about him, a sense of mission, that you very arely see in this world. and how he maintained that
through all of his years of imprisonment was remarkable. i remember thinking how on earth can this man still act and believe this way after all of the things the injustices that were done to him? it was almost unimaginable. he really stood out as almost no one else i have ever had the privilege to meet has done, discussing in the most peaceful, reasonable terms, how to heal this breach between black, colored and white in south africa at a time when the whites were prepared for what they called a total onslaught. if apartheid died, they figured they all be slaughtered. instead they found nelson mandela. >> john, the president spoke about his first political activities related to protests ainst apartheid and also
recalling the day that nelson mandela was set free from robin island after 27 years as a prisoner. that was in 1990. what can you tell us about his time in prison? did reporters ask him about that? >> reporters did ask him about it, and his answers were as if he had spent some time at his grandmother's house. he simply accepted what had happened to him, felt it had strengthened his purpose of mission. the remarkable there was there was no bitterness or anger, which would have been entirely justified. there was none that. there was simply a sense that what had been done to him had been done to hundreds and thousands of other are south africans. many of thome had been killed. and his mission in life was to put that behind him and his
country. the degree to which he succeeded in doing that is remarkable, though as my colleague said earlier, enormous problems continue to playing that country looking ahead. but when you look backward, it is absolutely remarkable that experience, f that 27 years on robin island, with a sense of hope and purpose rather than bitterness. >> john walcott, as someone who follows the back and forth in politics, in listening to jameer nelson, did he speak like a politician, or did he have a different kind of voice? >> no. he had a completely unique voice. the two people that came to mind most thinking about him ere ghandi and david betgurian, people for whom their mission was in part moral
or even religious. there was a merger of morality nd politics and mission that really you see very, very often. there was no cynicism, no manipulation. what you saw was what you got. you asked him a question, and you got a straight answer. sometimes a self-deprecating one. he had a sense of humor as the president mentioned. didn't seem to take himself terribly seriously, which is something we don't always see in politicians. this was a man with a purpose that dominated everything about him and was larger than even he was, and he was pretty large. >> john walcott, the president spoke about nelson mandela as a representative of the idea that one person can make a difference. did you find that that also enfused your conversation with him?
>> there is no question. he did what -- as i said before, there were a lot of people who covered it much more closely than i did, thought was absolutely impossible, thought the end of apartheid would come in blood. and the fact that it did not was largely the work of nelson mandela. it was always the work of prime minister burch ota, his white counterpart. but without nelson mandela, that would have never happened. when a giant leaves the earth, there is no one who can fill his shoes. >> john walcott, stay with us a moment. bloomberg news reporting from washington, d.c. i want to bring in peter cook, our chief washington correspondent. you have some reactions from the house ma majority and minority leaders? >> i do speed. nancy pelosi.
i wanted to read from the democratic leader of the house. he ultimate tribute to the triumph of hope. to his family, friends and loves once, so many mourn his loss at this sad time. house speaker john boener with a glowing tribute to nelson mandela. he was an unrelenting voice for democracy and his long walk to freedom showed an enduring faith in god and dignity. his ability to fight the apartheid system will inspire future generations. he came here as president and spoke to a joint session of congress in 1990, someone many members of congress spent time with when they visited to south africa. hey all wanted to be in this
been," the story of the prisoner of war, the son of bernard montgomery. so a career story for tom carver. can you tell us a story about what it was like to cover the apartheid regime in south africa? >> yeah. thanks for having me. it was an amazing experience, obviously, as a journalist to cover that transition. as several have said, there was nothing inevitable about how it came you out. it may well after descended to civil war. as a member of the bbc, i spent a lot of time covering civil wars in africa. i do think, as president obama said, that mandela's personal force of character did make a very significant difference in preventing that country going to civil war. i think one of the things that people forget now about it, which was just so extraordinary
at the time was the immense pressure the man was under. i mean he had pressure from the international community to get this right. he also had pressure from his own party because there were many in the a.n.c. who were real hot heads who just wanted an armed struggle, who didn't want to negotiate with the whites. he had pressure from other parties. you remember the zulu leader. he was achieving at the bit. then there were the whites emselves, which were split down the middle between the moderates of declercq and ralph mayer, and the extremists of the a.w.b. he was juggling all these factions, and the fact that he managed to navigate his way through to an incredible outcome of an election, a very peaceful election, and then the
transition to black majority rule without the whites really going up in arms, and also without the whites leaving the country, was an stob issuing achievement by him. >> tom carver, based on your experience of covering events in south africa and constituent to that, do you get the sense that nelson mandela might have viewed himself as a prisoner of war when he was on robin island? >> i think he did. i think he saw it as a type of war, yes. and we have to remember that at the very beginning he did support the armed struggle. he then renounced it. but he did believe in the idea in the a.n.c. was locked combat in its determination to achieve what it saw as justice and the right of one man-one vote. there were many different ways in which you could achieve that. and i think there is no question that the whites saw him as a prisoner of war in the
sense they saw him as a titleist, and they used that word often against a lot of the a. thmplet c. leadership, and that is why he was locked up for -- the a.n.c. leadership, and that is why he was locked up for so many years without a proper trial on the most extreme island prison you could imagine. >> he was spoken of as a source of inspiration. could you describe a little bit about those 27 years and what that meant to mandela being able to seek reconciliation when he became president? >> well, the obvious thing to say, but it bears saying, is that many other men, most other men, would have crumbled under that condition, would have given up after 27 years of imprisonment and really would not have been able to function very effectively after they came out of prison. the fact that he went on to lead a government, lead a
country, to negotiate a solution, is an incredible inspiration to anyone who thinks that just being a prisoner for your beliefs is enough. the other thing i would say, and i can tell you a little vignette, i think he was an inspiration in his humanity. when i went to interview him, i remember on one occasion he remembered that my producer's father was sick, and that was thing, i think. he didn't see my producer very often. she was a young south african girl. i remember him saying how is your father doing? that kind of amazing ability to mix that sort of personal connection, but with also an amazingly savvy political acumen. he was no push-over. he was able to, as i say, navigate these various tides in south african politics, and i think it was that mixture of
humanity, personal charm and amazing political astuteness that was his greatness. >> he was also a well well-trained lawyer. how did he bring that to bear? >> probably like it helped incoln in the civil war. the fact that he could see both sides of the argument i think was very helpful, and i think that is where his lawyer's training came in. i think the the fact that he could zillion arguments clearly and be able to prosecutor a case in an articulate way, all these things came partly out of his lawyer's training, and i think it also gave him kind of a discipline of mind. because a lot of his comrades were not lawyers, were not trained in that way. then as this whole struggle went on, they tended to get more and more extreme and
wanted to reach for the gun or some more extreme solution. and the fact that he was a lawyer, he was prepared to keep plodding along as a lawyer to prosecutor this case and move it along. he had that sort of mentality. >> thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. tom carver. many people taking to twitter in order to express their sadness over the passing of nelson mandela. russell simmons, the artist, said this -- more next on "taking stock."
at the age of 95. condolences and remembrances pouring in from political leaders all over the world. president obama speaking earlier from the white house. w. bush esident george saying today that president mandela was one of the great forces for freedom and equality of our team. he bore his burdens with dignity and grace, and our world is better off because of his example. he will be missed, but his contributions will live on forever. joining us now on the telephone from are washington, former u.s. ambassador to south africa, don gibbs. he was ambassador to south africa from 2009 until earlier this year. ambassador gibbs, thanks very much for spending time with us. what can you describe as the relationship between nelson andela and the united states diplomatically? >> diplomatically and
personally i think he has been an inspiration to all of us. i think he brought out the best in everyone who came into contact with him. i had the immense honor to be able to get to know him a little bit toward the end of his incredibly inspiring life. you can't help but be moved when you are in his presence. i think we should all take away from his incredible life that we can rise above any differences that we might have and come together to solve problems that face us all. >> ambassador gibbs, can you describe when you first met nelson mandela? >> actually the first time i t him when when haven't gore came into south africa, and we went in to have a conversation with mr. mandela. it was a true honor to watch both incredible minds exchanging and talking about both the past and the present.
it was a very inspiring moment. you could see in that moment incredible wisdom and at the same time the incredible charm, his smile and laugh that inspired people around the world. >> ambassador gibbs, when you spent time as ambassador to south africa, can you describe how powerful nelson mandela's legend and legacy were were when it came to talking with members of the south african government? >> i think everyone in south africa, from those who knew him personally to those whose lives had been shaped by the legacy he left were so inspired by the example he set. it's a challenge for all of us, and i think the lesson i hope people will take away from his life is that we all can rise above our differences. i think south africa is still working to live up to the incredible example that he set.
i think all of us around the world need to live up to that example in a time whether we are divided by political party, race or religion. nelson mandela offers us the lesson that we can step above that no matter how much pain has been caused in the past. we can rise above that and do better. s last great wish was to build a children's hospital in south africa. it just captured who he was. he wanted to give back to the community, and i hope people will honor him by contributing to that hospital, the nelson mandela children's fund u.s.a..org. >> ambassador gibbs, many u.s. ay emery's around -- embassy's around the world employ local workers. how did yours philly about
mandela? >> they all called him tata. he is the father of the nation, their personal father. one of my staff told me that nelson mandela stayed in prison for 27 years for me. i can survive anything for 27 years to give back to him. he is the spirit that guided the nation and set it off on to the grand journey that it has. but he also smartly stepped down from power, realized it was not to be about him, but he wanted to build a nation that would survive past him. that is why i think south africa will continue to grow and prosper even without him and continue to be inspired by his example. >> i want to thank you very much for joining us, former ambassador to south africa, don gips, joining us from washington, d.c. former president of south africa, nelson mandela has died at the age of 95. this is "taking stock" on bloomberg.