tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg December 9, 2013 10:00pm-11:01pm EST
water, for all. let freedom reign. god bless africa. i thank you. >> nelson mandela, the former president of south africa, died today. mandiba was a man for all seasons. his life gave meaning to millions. after his release from prison in 1990, he was awarded the nobel peace prize and served as president for five years. the power of mandela could not be captured in a snapshot. it was also the man himself. he was a quiet man in many ways, but with great power to influence. a father of six who is also a father of a nation, a country,
and a philosophy. he was born in 1918 in a small village of the eastern cape of south africa. his work against apartheid policies grew in the coming years. in 1963, he was put on trial for plotting to overthrow the government with pilots. he said at the trial, 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. but if i need be, it is an ideal for which i am prepared to die. after he stepped down as president, he worked tirelessly to promote his agenda of equality. he wanted to engage in quiet reflection. he is survived by his wife, graca machel, and three children. joining me now is a close friend
of mandela's. rick stengel was the author of "long walk to freedom." we will also be joined by david dinkins. you knew him 25 years. godfather to your daughter. >> 22 years. >> tell me how they are handling this. >> i think it is clear to see that, especially with respect to mrs. machel, is a unified women. they have been graceful through this process. ofre is a profound sense saddness. you finally get the word that
the chief is gone, it is overwhelming. i think there is an equal amount of joy in festivity. now this major event has happened. i think the family is actually very dignified and holding up well. >> what we know about what is going to happen between now and the funeral day? >> there are a series of protocols that have been put into place that the south african government are executing. on the 10th, there will be a huge rally. the funeral is on the 15th. i would anticipate is one of the largest gatherings of heads of state in modern history. you may even see more at the state attended nelson mandela's funeral than john f. kennedy's. there will be more protocol put in because of madiba's extended illness. there was a lot more time to plan.
>> he had said that he wanted a quiet exit, but when he was in pretoria hospital, it was anything but quiet. but he did get to have that quiet when he went back with family, or not? >> we said our goodbyes it while back. he has not been himself for a number of years. it was unclear how involved he was in any of these preparations. the man we know would have said, i don't want a big funeral. just take me to where my ancestors are. i think he was a little disingenuous about that. he was of two minds. he would be, why such a small funeral? i don't think that he would approve of the government of south africa using the funeral to exhibit the confidence of south africa.
-- the fact that south africa democracy.modern >> there is the legend, there is the myth of mandela, there was the mandela that you knew, and it was the mandela that new who and what he was and had time to reflect on it. tell me about the man. >> i talked a lot. i even talk to you about the myth of him being a saint. he hated being called that. he was not a saint for all kinds of reasons, in terms of his own private behavior, which does not even matter, but he was not a saint because he was ultimately a pragmatic politician. people compare him to gandhi, martin luther king. he said to me, for those men, nonviolence was a principal.
for me, nonviolence was a tactic. i used it as long as it was successful. when it's stopping successful, i turned the anc into a military armed wing. my great goal was freedom and justice for my people. anything that would get me there would be what road i would take. that is a pragmatic politician. that is not a saint. >> i agree with that. he was very pragmatic. one of my reflections after 20 plus years was how real he was. if you saw him flirtatious, or joyful, or festive, or playful, it was that way when he was behind the scenes or in front of the camera. but when he went out on a public appearance, he was fully aware of how he was being projected, how he was moving. i'll tell you an interesting story towards the end, when the world cup was there.
we walked in to have a little personal time with him and he said to me, how did we do? that is an amazing comment. he was so interested in how the country reflected around the world, of the image reflected. i would talk to him about -- you know, there was a lot of time in between protocols and him between business where you are aiming out for four hours, five hours at a time. and i would say, what was it like? he can be very sweet, very insightful. >> he had the right touch whether you were four or 94. >> think the principle of robben island was missed, when he said what do you miss? the number one thing that all the prisoners said was the laughter of children.
when madiba got out of prison and saw what his new wife was involving, he was just joyful. the nelson mandela children's fund was never work for him. all those appearances, and i had been with him many times, he just loved children. you'd walk out of the house and the security detail would be furious with him, you go for a walk and ring people's doorbells. he would open the door and he would say hi, i am nelson mandela. >> i knew him long enough ago when people did not know him when he rang the doorbells. >> this was what year? >> 1992 and 1993. when we stayed outside of where he built his house, we would take these very long early morning walks, and i mean early, 4:30 a.m., 5:00 a.m., and we would walk to different villages.
people did not know who we was. they thought he was a visiting chief. he loved it. he could not love it more when someone did not recognize him. to bear jerry out, i think he is better with four-year-olds the 94-year-olds. [laughter] he loved children and he loved holding them. there is a wonderful story that not many people know. on the day of his release, february 11, he was supposed to give a speech. his car got lost. they said, how do we get back to downtown cape town? there was a white woman with a pram wheeling her baby along the sidewalk. the car door open, nelson mandela popped out, the date of his release, and he said, i am nelson mandela. may i hold your baby? he took this adorable girl in his arms, and then asked directions to the grand parade? he had not held a baby and 27 years.
>> years later, he wanted to go on vacation, but he wanted to go where the family could be quiet and not been nelson mandela. we get a call that night. it is a very emotional call. the family is very excited because it is the first time he had ever set foot in the ocean, put his foot in the ocean. >> and he is like 70 something years old? >> it'd been like 40 years, he had never been in the ocean. by that time, his legs were hard to move and stuff like that. he was just so boyish with the fact that he got to walk in the ocean. >> no one knows what it is to be imprisoned and have none of those things. things we just consider part of life, foot in the ocean, holding a baby.
did he choose history or did history choose him? >> more than most. i'm a big fan of the expression, come at the moment, come at the man. when young nelson mandella first came to study law, he walked into a real estate office. he said we were trying to become a mass movement. and then one day a mass leader came into my office. he was tall, handsome. one thing you would said, that man could smile. people do not smile in the 50's. look at pictures of politicians no one is smiling. nelson mandela was beaming. he was ahead of his time. >> what would he talk about?
>> it was interesting. you can lead him in certain directions. we got to a point of intimacy where he was used to you being around. he was very principled. if you talk out of turn, you could bet the figure would be waiting you. you could say to him, were you lonely? what did you miss? what happened was he said, sometimes i feel more lonely now than i did when i was in robben island. you would work all day long. there were times when you go to the house to pick him up and he would be sitting alone in a chair.
it was a great, great responsibility. i want to say that when he first got out of prison he had to go to a dinner one night. one of his friends pick him up in the car and had to drive him to a dinner. you realize that he had no money. so he stopped with mandella and went over to an atm and put the card in. mandela some money coming out of a wall. [laughter] he did not know what an atm was. he said to the guy, what was that? >> it was a cute thing. at his inauguration we had the privilege of doing a heads of state luncheon. i thought it would be clever to take that picture that everyone is showing him in a swearing-in on the day. i held open three photo labs in pretoria. we had 1500 copies of this made. after we served the soup course,
we said, thank you for attending the first democratically free presidential inauguration. we put picture. when i went to show madiba it was only a few minutes before. he looked at it like a boy, astonished. really sweet. >> how did you become the co- author of his autobiography? >> i had written a book on south africa. when mandela was signed up for the autobiography, someone was being looked for to write it. i then asked if i would do it, and it was an offer i could not refuse, no one could refuse. it was most extraordinary. >> what do you think he would like us to be talking about? >> i think he would like us to be talking about how south africa can grow and progress and evolve after he is gone.
he had set the template for democratic, non-racial, capitalistic country that will thrive in the 21stentury. i think that is what he would like us to talk about. one of things i noticed in all the interviews we did -- he was self-consciously modest. i would say, when you did this, and he would say, no, it was us, the anc. when i said, the anc did this, no, richard, that was me. [laughter] remember, the struggle is my life, he said. he wanted to make sure his country and people were provided for.
>> your wife is from south africa? >> both from cape town. >> i got to meet him on his historic visit to new york. i helped out on the logistics. robert deniro and his generosity did a major reception party when he opened up the tribeca bar and grill. he said to me, before i go home to south africa, is there any way you could introduce me to elizabeth taylor? i didn't know her, but i knew michael jackson. i called michael jackson and said, can we introduce her when he goes to los angeles? michael said yes. he calls back later and says, elizabeth taylor would be happy to see mr. mandela, on the condition i come.
i said, i can't promise that. let me ask you. i want to madiba and said, i don't really know elizabeth taylor, but michael jackson does and if she comes he was to accompany her. he said, that is fine, but who is michael jackson? [laughter] mehe said can you imagine tayler?elizabeth [laughter] >> when we were trying to change the image of south africa to come out of the apartheid era, one of the tactics we wanted to use was to show the beautiful visualizations of south africa up by getting on tv in many countries around the world. one of madiba's favorite things
was when he would meet the 90 girls each year and then, after the second year when the tension of, is the logistic working, we played a little joke on him. we asked all the girls to wear bright colored lipstick. we have a picture of wary as like 40 kisses on his face with all the bright colored lipstick. >> joining us now is the honorable david dinkins, former mayor of new york. >> tell us what you remember of nelson mandela. >> i was a big fan. of course, he help me get elected as mayor. he was insistent that we could get nelson mandela to come to new york. terrific, if we can do it. this is the first place to which
he came outside of south africa, was to the united states. he might well have gone to washington, or atlanta, a lot of other places. >> london. >> we were fortunate. he stayed here. when he stayed with my bride with me in gracie mansion. >> he was your guest. >> almost a week. he was the same whether playing with our grandchildren -- we had a granddaughter at that time. i think she was born in february and this was june. she was a little thing. he was the same man or whether
questioned by ted koppel. ted koppel leaned in, and said, about the communists -- and madiba said, they were the only ones that helped us. and moved on. [laughter] >> let us talk about the women in his life. winnie and then graca machel. >> she was from a small family. evelyn. she was very young, he was a young man. they had three children quite quickly. as he became political, she became more religious. i think she was a seventh day adventist.
he realized later, and said this about his mother as well. i was trying to bring a revolution to my country and educate my own people about democracy and freedom and i had not been able to do that to my wife and my mother. he felt that was a lack. they went their separate ways. it was a sad situation. then he met winnie. >> you look at young pictures of winnie mandela, a physically gorgeous woman full of strength and pride -- >> she was an activist. >> an activist in her own right. at that moment in time, they clicked and became an indelible force. with the celebration of all the documentation of mandela being imprisoned for 27 years, sometimes credit is not given to winnie about what she had to endure. those early years of prison,
they would go to her house at 2:00 in the morning, shake her down, stripped searcher. a lot of people don't remember you talk about courage and strength, she was in solitary confinement for 18 months. after 27 years in prison, when you grow apart, winnie came out. everyone wanted a piece of him. it had to be lonely for both of them. to this day, i think there is a very great love between the two of them. she is a great lady. all of a sudden, he is now 79- 80. the wedding comes with mrs. machel. >> the widow of the president of mozambique.
did you meet her? >> yes. i was embarrassed because the first time i met her, i didn't realize i had met her before. i said something stupid -- [laughter] and it was like, we've met before. she was very gracious and very sweet. but what an amazing man mandela is. every year, his birthday is i think the 18th of july and mine is the 10th. each year, i would send him a message, happy birthday, madiba. when you are 109, i will be 100 and we will meet and have a drink. i will get to do that anymore.
anymore.o do that it's very sad. >> when was the last time you saw him? i guess it has been six or seven years, maybe. >> i was part of tony o'reilly's advisory group. >> the irish businessman. >> we used to go annually. we had two meetings, one in south africa in february and one in ireland. when we were in south africa, we would get to meet with madiba and later with others. it was on those occasions that i got to see him. >> there is a whole interesting tale there. his father was on robben island.
i guess we can say it now they never got along. our memory was of him saying some things that were not as wonderfully flattering as you would like. he forced upon with tabo. there were two groups. there were those who would stayed, and the exiles. those were the old mainstream of the anc. mandela's advisors all wanted the old exiled group to come to power. mandela i think actually favored the interior people.
he was not an authoritarian ruler, even within the anc. he was often outvoted by his comrades. i think he was outvoted there, too. >> last time you saw him? >> last year. >> he is the godfather of your daughter. >> he named her. he was very close with prudence. prudence, being a very prominent south african journalist. we went up to him and said we are couple, he looked at us like, what have you been up to? we asked if he would give us his blessing and be the best man. he said, it entitles me a child. he said that with that and get a baby. it took us nine years to have a baby. when the baby arrived, he was so
excited. he was on vacation and he called up and said, i have named your child. ok. do want to tell the boss? she is here. what have you named her? what does it mean? "the one who has taken a long time to come." when she sees me, she will see i'm an old, feeble man and will start to cry. so we saw him a year ago. >> he had something to do with mohammed ali. to see the two of them together >> it was a very special night. i was visiting with him up at the waldorf. he was in rocky shape even then. i said, i have a night. you think i can see some of my friends before i go? robert de niro, the celebrated actor, people don't understand how generous he is and what a
great philanthropist he is, but he hosted mandela at the request of our great mayor when he first came at the tribeca as part of the june visit. i said, you want to end it with us? on that may evening in 2005, it was a very sweet night and we reenacted the boxing picture with ali and him. it was a very sweet night. >> on one occasion, i was at a luncheon seated next to mohammed ali. when he spoke of the honorees, he said service to others is a rent that you pay for space on earth. i was so moved by that i wrote it down. i always use it now and i speak at a funeral or memorial. it fits nelson mandela so well service to others is the rent you pay for space on earth.
>> we look back at an interview i did with nelson mandela i did in 1993, 20 years ago. help us understand what it was like for you and how does a man maintain the strength, his belief, his integrity, on an island where he is been sentenced to life in prison? >> there is nothing as inspiring as to know that the ideas for which you have sacrificed will triumph in the end. one of the things that we are constantly aware of, 24 hours a day, was the fact that ideas of liberation were much alive. that our people inside the country were fighting back. that the international community, irrespective of the
government, was empowering the country. that was a source of tremendous inspiration it kept the morale of all is very high. therefore we were -- in prison because of the knowledge that an car that our incarceration was not in vain and the possibility of is coming back to play our part as part of a greater aspect of the freedom fighters was always possible. this sustained us. also, to share these experiences
with a man who was with me in prison. some of you who have cited. it was a tremendous experience. >> how about your vanity imprison? i mean that with the greatest respect. what was it like, having your garden? give us an idea of being in prison, with the goals you had, with the fight of people outside of prison. with the battles to come, what does small thing like a garden mean to you? >> well, there were moments when one doubted whether he had done the correct thing by abandoning your wife, your children, and
literally throwing them to the wolves. that was a cause of constant concern on my part, to see my wife humiliated, how did by the police from job to job, threatening and forcing them to dismiss my wife. my children being babies, being hounded when they went to school. the authorities were compelled to dismiss them so they could go to an african school. the fact that i was not there to protect them, to guide my children. it is a terrible pain, indeed.
but after agonizing over this, in the end, i had done the right thing. if i was released, and had the opportunity to do what i did, i would do it again. that is necessary for us to occupy ourselves during the day, to do the type of thing that you like. reading. >> what did you read? >> about gardening. creating life, see it growing and maturing into beautiful vegetables. that was an experience which elevated one. i liked reading political works.
biographies and novels. i like to enjoy them. >> let me come back to the garden question. with respect to the garden, were you good at it? >> well, i was a student. at college, it was the task of the students to go and work for the members of the staff. i was fortunate enough to be able to work for members of the staff who had gardens. i looked up at the gardens. now i had the opportunity to read works on gardening and other publications dealing with farming.
i became quite informed as far as gardening is concerned. but primarily for vegetables? >> primarily. >> what vegetables? >> i had a variety of vegetables, like tomatoes, spinach, onion -- >> could you eat them? >> yes. strawberries. i tried peanuts, but i was unsuccessful. >> why not? >> i did not have the technique. of planting them and cultivating them. >> but you had fertilizer and all the things? >> yes. >> did boxing make a difference? the fact you had been an amateur boxer? >> it taught me discipline. how to go forward.
how to retreat. when the opposition is so strong that i could not overcome it. how to face your problems. >> that sounds like the lessons of either political or military warfare. when to flank, when to watch her flank, when to go forward, when to go on the defensive -- >> these are basic principles of boxing as a sport. you must, even before you actually don the gloves, you must have the basic rules of the game. to be able to advance, go
forward, if you can put out your enemy, you must do so. in fighting, if your rival is superior, you stay out. you circle around, you concentrate on body punches and wear him down. you have to study your enemy before you go to the ring, but more important is to study him in the ring. >> and don't take your eyes off where his hands are. >> of course. it is a basic rule of the sport, but it is also a basic rule of the military. >> so if you are in the boxing
metaphor, where are you? opponent? areour you in the 14th round? >> we are negotiating. and when you are negotiating in regards to a country, you're not thinking about victory. you're not thinking about victory for yourself. you don't want your opponent to be a loser. you are thinking of a victory for the people as a whole. south africa must have the victory. therefore, i would hesitate to see any political party weakened.
i want all of the political parties involved in the negotiations to be strong so they can bring contingencies to the negotiation floor. so they can speak with one voice on the fundamental question of freedom. you don't, in negotiation, seek the type of victory you seek in a boxing match. >> you love your country more than you love anything? >> well, that is difficult. i have got a formula with children. >> it is almost like you are married to your country and destiny has made this marriage is and you have no choice. >> it is inconceivable for me to love anyone more than my children and my grandchildren.
my daughter now and again says, i grew up without a father. my father was in prison. but, i entertain the hope that one day he would come back and i will have a father, like all other children. i would stop being an orphan during my father's lifetime. my father came out. he has now become the father of the nation. i still have no father. i have got a grandson. he is four. i asked him, on his birthday, what do you want me to buy for you? he said, i want a motorcar. we got out of the car. he was holding my hand, my left hand. we went into the shop.
as we walked in, crowds milled around and they shook my hand. he left this hand and came to grab this hand. i said, you hold his hand? he said, no. he saw me greeting people with this hand. i stopped being his grandfather. i was now a grandfather of so many people he did not know. he was so upset that even when we entered the shop with the vehicles, he was no longer interested. that is the type of experience, a grandfather who was a grandfather not of my grandchild but of the people around.
it was a very painful experience, but nevertheless we have to permit ourselves completely to the organization and the hope that the children and grandchildren will understand. >> so, the biggest pain for you has been for the children you did not have time for and now your family is as large as a nation? >> that is correct. this is an experience, of course, that affects thousands of freedom fighters. not only in the national african congress, but in other political formations as well. >> is it hard not to have a wife with you?
>> to be with your wife is a tremendous source of confidence. but you have to trust to the situation. >> how painful was it? >> i usually talk very little about domestic matters, but she is a woman who supported me when hard times were knocking at my door. one of the difficult decisions to make was to leave the joint household and go and to establish myself elsewhere. >> difficult because of the sacrifice because of your imprisonment? >> i would prefer that we leave those issues aside, but it is correct that she supported me very strongly when i was in prison.
>> one last question on that because it is such an issue. how do you view her today? >> she is entitled to her own political views. >> which is? >> whatever views she has, she is entitled. once we accept the democratic process, we must accept its full implications. they're entitled to have their own views, whatever i think of them. >> you have, at this moment, no reservation or indecision along with the council you have taken with your colleagues that the decisions made by you and them are right for south africa? the sacrifices, the tolls, the price you paid, the blood that has been spilled was necessary?
painful but necessary? >> absolutely. we are an organization which, from its foundation, committed itself to building a nation through peaceful, nonviolent, and dissident struggle. we were forced to resort to arms by the regime and the lesson of history is that the masses of the people -- the political
action they used is determined by the oppressor himself. the oppressed will never resort to violence. it is when the oppressed, in addition to policies, uses violence, they will retaliate by similar forms of action. therefore, the blood that was spilled, responsibility for that lies clearly on the shoulders of the regime. >> at the same time, you and the anc had acknowledged violence in the anc camps as well. >> we are perhaps the only organization, certainly in africa, and across the world that has had the courage and honesty to take the public into
confidence. >> that is true. >> to say -- we set up that independent commission because we wanted to get to the bottom of this. when they gave the report, which looked at to the public and said to them, these are the findings of the commission. these are their recommendations. hardly any organization in our country has done that. when that report was released, they did not have the courage to
publish it, to take the public into confidence. we have done something totally different. >> you certainly have. let me just end with this, because they told me i have to cut. one last notion -- april 27, 1994. free elections. black africans in south africa will express, for the first time, their political will. will that be the happiest day of your life? >> yes and no. yes, because, as i have already said, that is a day of
liberation. when the people of south africa will be able to elect a government of their own choice, when they take their destiny into their hands and be able to run their own lives. no, because it may well be that it is going to be more difficult to maintain that democracy than it was to bring it into reality. there are going to be very awesome challenges, and it will really test the ability of those who are leading the democratic process in this country. >> nelson mandela, perhaps the most admired man in the world, died in south africa, age 95. ♪
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