this is a fox news alert. a massive memorial service is getting underway right now in south africa for the former south african president nelson mandela. the ceremony is being held at the soccer stadium in soweto. you can see it there. this is a live look. the stadium itself seats close to 100,000 people and nearly 100 heads of state are expected there as well. president obama arrived a few hours ago and is scheduled to speak. first the family members will
speak after some prayers and then president obama will take the podium and speak and we'll of course have that live for you. former president george w. bush, bill clinton and jimmy carter are attending the ceremony there as well. the anti-apartheid leerd make an appearance at that very stadium for the closing ceremonies of the 2010 world cup you might remember. his last public appearance, uniting races while he did that. he died last friday. he was 95 years old and will be buried on sunday in his rule hometown. today is the memorial service. senior foreign affairs correspondence greg is at the stadium there. i understand it's raining there. i can't tell it's raining if you look at the video but the stadium is filling up and people are packing into the top part of the stadium which is under cover right now. describe the scene for us if you will. >> reporter: exactly. it is a cold, wet, windy, rainy
day here in johannesburg but the scene in the huge soccer stadium behind me is anything but dampened. the mood, the spirit, the enthusiasm is incredible. this is a national memorial to the late nelson mandela. the icon for the world. they called him father. they called him the father of modern day south africa and they called him somebody that they call very close to home. what we'll be seeing here and as we're looking at the crowds now that are gathering in the stadium and it still hasn't completely filled up because of the pretty bad weather are dignitaries and family members of nelson mandela. we will be hearing from them and friends but also the dignitaries the heads of state you noted that have come here from all around the world. something like 100 heads of state. arguably the biggest gathering of this kind in recent memory. president obama is not yet in the stadium but he will be
coming. also former presidents george w. bush, bill clinton, and jimmy carter as well. president obama will be giving a speech, about 20 minutes long. he'll talk about what nelson mandela meant to him and to south africa and the people of the world. we'll also be hearing from other world leaders from as diverse locations as china, india, and cuba. we'll be hearing from the family members and friends. i'm sure we'll be hearing a lot of strong, emotional words from these individuals. and i can tell you after having spent a couple of days here, it's not just going to be words. we're going to be hearing song and music and chanting and dancing. the camera man and i were inside the stadium for a coup of minutes a few moments ago and it is incredible. it is electric. we were in the middle of something that looked like a
tsunami to us. it was not keeping anybody down. they are ready to go. but a slight delay as we're watching now the dignitaries and heads of state and leaders enter the stadium as well as as we look around tens of thousands of south africans coming as well. >> greg, i want to talk to you about security because i was reading articles earlier. thousands of officers there, snipers, they were installing bullet proof glass and welding the stage together. when you have
we understand they will be in an enclosed area. there will be bullet proof glass between them and the public. they will be in sky boxes at that stadium. so it won't be completely open. but yes, it's a huge security challenge. we're seeing a huge police presence. there's like 11,000 soldiers, police and intelligence agents scattered not just around this site but around johannesburg. parts of the city have been shutdown. they hosted the world cup soccer match back in 2010 so they have a little bit of a feel for how to do logistics, but security, according to one government spokesman yesterday that described this thing, this has never happened before, certainly in south africa or anywhere on this kind of scale. so far, so good. >> right now we're watching the dignitaries walk through, greg. we saw super model niamoi
campbell walking through. so you'll have a lot of celebrities as well. he was able to bring people together. blacks, whites, ending the apartheid. such a celebrity there and cherished man. i have friends from south africa that are there right now and i talked to them on the phone and one was telling me that the mood there, the country is just united as a whole and everyone seems to be getting along. we saw pictures of the audience members there. they were dancing around. it seems to be quite a time to celebrate his life instead of mourning it. >> reporter: that's exactly what we have been seeing as we have been out on the street in this johannesburg neighborhood that's his final home and soweto township which is also where he lived. i saw them speaking out for the person that really helped to
bring them out of the terrible apartheid system but also many whites, white families expressing their love for the man because this is a man who reached out. reconciliation was a word for him and forgiveness. these white people remember, indians, all sorts of races here pulling together and again, old and young, many young people, they call them the born free generation. born free of any knowledge of apartheid, they know him too. they know nelson mandela as a true figure and as you noted too, everybody across the board, around the world, wanted to get a piece of nelson mandela and wanted to pay their respects today. we'll see celebrities like oprah, richard bransen of virgin airlines, bono from u 2, even the spice girls we understand are going to show up. according to nelson mandela when he spet the spice girls he said his life wa
he was that kind of guy. warm, friendly, but courageous. now we're looking at the former president here. he was the successor to nelson mandela and just a symbol of the multiracial democratically elected government that nelson mandela brought in starting in 1994. something that this country, a beautiful, brave country had really never seen before. >> and, greg, what was their relationship like? >> reporter: it was importantly hand in hand -- what happened was when nelson mandela became president in 1994, he was at an advanced age. he had a lot of broader policy issues to deal with in south africa and around the world and for day-to-day actions of the government, he handed those over and i think by the end of the four years that he was president
of his term as president, he was getting a little bittner vous about the power, the control. but because as people have noted, nelson mandela is as much a poll situation as anything else. he knows politics and how to play it and perhaps he wanted to play it in a certain way than his other colleagues were. but anyway, it still worked out well and was an important first term for him and a term that then he gave up and went on to the global stage acting not just a leader of south africa but as a symbol for the world. >> all right, greg, if you'll stand by there, we'll come back to you in just a moment. if you're just joining us you're look at video of the memorial service there in south africa for nelson mandela. and while we are live there at the scene, you can see the dignitaries walking into the arena right now, the ceremony was supposed to start nine
minutes ago. it's supposed to last four hours. we'll take at least the first hour completely live for you and then when the 5:00 a.m. show starts we'll continuously check back in. especially when president obama steps in to speak. we'll play that as well. while we wait for this tribute to get underway, let's take a look at the fascinating life of the man that would become an icon of the anti-apartheid movement and inspire not just his countrymen but people and leaders all around the world. jonathan hunt has more. >> reporter: when nelson mandela walked free from prison on february 11th, 1990, he knew, as did the rest of the world, that white domination in south africa was about to end. mandela had fought apartheid since it's introduction in south africa in 1948 campaigning peacefully at first and then advocating and taking part in violent resistance.
in 1964 mandela was sentenced to life with hard labor and sent to the robin island prison. it quickly gathered pace ♪ free nelson mandela ♪ 21 years in captivity >> reporter: and nelson mandela became the most famous political prisoner on the planet. within months of his release he was holding peace talks and then in 1994 with apartheid abollished nelson mandela became president himself after south africa's first all race elections. >> i have fought very firmly against white domination. i have fought very firmly against black domination. i cherish the idea of the new
south africa where all south africans are equal. >> reporter: nelson mandela served just one five year term but remained perhaps the most influential figure in south african politics. certainly the most loved for what he went through, the dignity he displayed, and the change he brought about. but typically for him, mandela gave all the credit to his fellow citizens. >> south africa pass the generations, but it is you, the people, who are the true heros. >> serving one term but very influential. our senior foreign correspondence. i'm being told he is not available right now. we do have a live reporter there on the scene. we'll check in with him a little bit later. now, here is a man who achieved his goal of changing a country,
changing our world. started as tribal royalty in his small african village. born on july 18th, 1918. we're watching some of the dignitaries file into that stadium because they're going to pay tribute to him at this memorial service. many of the teachers at his tribal village taught him -- they were trying to groom him for a leadership position and then he went to johannesburg later for college trying to avoid a prearranged marriage and there he experienced apartheid for the first time and saw the racism there and joined the african national congress. the goal for the anc was democracy. civil nonviolence and then he married his first wife in johannesburg and then was sent to prison. the national party government banned the anc. he was sent to prison repeatedly. his wife ended up leaving him then and 60 plus more were
killed during a demonstration. 180 were wounded so he was sent to prison for that. charged with sabotage. charged with conspiracy and then after prison got out and became president of south africa. what we're looking at right now is the memorial service. you can see people there that are excited because they're celebrating really, the life of nelson mandela. i read an interesting quote that he said. he said when a man has done his duty to the people, he can rest in peace. i believe i have made that effort and that is therefore why i will sleep for eternity. pretty powerful. now our senior foreign affairs correspondence is there at the stadium right now. telling us what's happening on the ground. what an impact he made in the lives of so many individuals. >> reporter: an amazing impact and as we watch the crowd still coming into the stadium many minutes after the event was supposed to start, you can see
that people are eager to get inside. eager to battle their way through very heavy rain and wind to honor the man. the man they call father. madiba, that was the clan name for nelson mandela. he was the person that changed this country. he was the person that brought this country out of a horrendous apartheid racial system that kept blacks down and kept them away from a democratic participation in the government and kept them away from the jobs they wanted and needed. he was seen along with others that are a part of the struggle as a person that changed this country. that's why this country today is putting all steps out -- all measures in full speed to mark this man. mark this man's life. not just the people here, of course. but around the world. he was a symbol. a symbol of revolutionary
ferver. a symbol of freedom. we have talked to people around here from africa, europe, and the u.s. to pay their respects and now we're seeing the dignitaries, the heads of states of the country. president obama made a point of coming here. he will be here for just one day. air force one set down at around 8:00 a.m. local time. he will be attending this memorial. he will be giving a speech about 15 to 20 minutes in length discussing the importance of nelson mandela to him and his life and to the world history. then he will be leaving but tooechbts here will continue. after this long emotional day, there will be more long emotional days. nelson mandela will lie in state from wednesday to friday in petoria. that's one of the capitols of south africa. the vips and dignitaries here will have a chance to view the body in a private session wednesday morning and then the public will be allowed in to
have a glimpse of the man they hold so close to their hearts. his body will then be transported on saturday, about 500 miles from where we are right now to the town where he was born. that's in what they call here the eastern cape. it is a small tribal village but he said i want to be buried there. he will be buried there along side family members but we're get ago head of ourselves. that's several days away. right now we have a main event with a lot of music, a lot of speaking and a lot of emotion anticipated in the next four hours or so. >> i was reading that he went to college there in johannesburg. so this is where he went to college. obviously a city that means a lot to him and then he'll be buried in his hometown in the tribal village there. his family was royalty there i understand. are you familiar with his past? >> absolutely. he comes from a very high
standard of citizen locally and some people say he held that regal air to some degree. but for a lot of people he was a regular person. we're in the soweto area of johannesburg. that's where nelson mandela lived in the 40s and 50s and 60s when he was very active in the anti-apartheid movement. in the early days it was a peaceful effort here and then in the early 60s it took a violent turn where he was, in fact, targeting government locations and that's when the government really cracked down. that's when he gave his famous statement from the dock in 1964 in which he stated his belief that men, women, blacks, whites could and should live together and if that couldn't happen he was willing to die for that cause. he did not die for that cause at
that time. he was sent to jail sentenced for 27 long years. and when we talk to people here we hear so much about what that meant. he endured 27 years of imprisonment and came out and still have h the spirit of reconciliation and the spirit of forgiveness. that's the one thing that kept this country together. kept his spirit alive. kept his message going forward and made that message heard around the world. >> his story is incredible as you're pointing out. it's amazing that just with persistence and with compromise and negotiations and a lot of patience he was able to see his goal change a country and change our world. there's so many individuals watching this today and he influenced the lives of so many. and many people not familiar with his life are getting familiar with it in the last few days since his death because we're learning so much about him and his story. we're talking also about security today.
obviously a lot of people are packing into the stadium. close to 100,000 people. we have thousands of officers that are there. snipers, workers were welding the stage together, installing bullet proof glass. they built a security plan and they were working with local authorities as well. an advanced team was sent in immediately after nelson mandela passed away to come up with a plan. they had less than a week to plan this memorial service. they did hold the 2010 world cup game there is in the stadium. i'm being told that the roads are closed around that stadium and any overflow will be pushed to smaller stadium where is they can watch by video. the white house spokesman was saying i have not heard of any concerns so everything seems to be running smoothly and lots of security there. we have four u.s. presidents there in the crowd. president obama and michelle are there. president george w. bush and laura. president bill clinton, hilary
and chelsea are there. they're close friends of him and president jimmy carter, they served on a world organization that promotes peace together, the elder group. now i'm being told that sky news is broadcasting this in the uk.. and we're going to check in with them to see what their coverage looks like. >> johannesburg, there were serious wars between the anc and the freedom party. it was everywhere. for us to see where we're at today, it's a miracle. i agree with the world. but at the center of this miracle was one man who was a leader of the african national congress. who also did everything that he did and guided by the articulation of the anc.
>> he was a policy man, wasn't he? >> through and through. >> he saw himself as a party man. >> he saw himself as a party man and, in fact, because i was on the anc during madiba's term, this is my second term in this job. madiba was -- no matter how much he believed on an issue on the table, no matter his viewpoint but he would be guided by the viewpoint of the coelellective. of course he will have some views. he'll try to convince that this is the right thing to do. this is the right thing.
let's not be vengeful. it's the opportunity for any leader to say let's drop these negotiations. let's go for them. but madiba managed to convince his own leadership that that would not be a right thing to do. so we are a little like him at the time when we needed that type of leadership. >> what's the best message that you could send out this week in memory of nelson mandela? what's the vision you have? what would you like people to take away from this week of celebration? >> to take away all the statements, statements that came from the community, from international leaders. statements that came from his organization the anc.
statements that came from his governmentel. madiba not only spoke about but believed. madiba was the personification of being humane. he was the personification of being selfless. he was the personification of the values of love and caring. just love and caring, for everybody. madiba was able to come to his house and when they are there he'll say i'm inviting you to come to me to some rural area. you come as a business man along side madiba and you complain of not having a school. and there is this business man approaching. how could you say no to a
madiba. but values. values of being selfless. values of integrity. he was a man of integrity. he was a man that cared. he was the reconciler of the country. a lot of countries could learn a lot. >> i known that mandela was able to even unite different generations. >> true. >> the younger generations. thank you very much. thank you very much. we're just going to bring you a few more things just as some of the heads of states are arriving today. fantastic pictures of crowds coming in. alex crawford is still outside
the stadium watching people trying to get in. still outside andts of people in large numbers. you can see them coming across the bridge. how long have you taken to get here? it's taken you awhile. >> you're absolutely soaked. >> i'm soaked. i walked from there to here. >> how important was it to you to make it here? >> our father is my everything and this day was of his. so i had to come and pay my respects to him. >> doesn't matter how wet you get. >> it doesn't matter how wet i am. it doesn't matter. madiba, we love you. >> how long has your journey
taken you. >> an hour. >> and we wait. >> and clearly you felt quite strongly about being here. >> absolutely. absolutely. on madiba's birthday this year i announced to the world i am not an hiv victim. i'm an hiv survivor. madiba taught me freedom of speech and forgiveness. i have forgiven my rapist as well. >> these are the kind of thing he is taught you and the rest of the country. >> absolutely. >> how much optimism do you have for the future now? >> a beautiful, bright future. >> tell me why. >> he left us a future. a legacy to love proud. to love with forgiveness. to love with pride and dignity. >> how was it that he managed to touch so many people? >> inspired as, in a sense of
strength. he touched people all across the world with his strength. i'm leaving this umbrella and i'm hiv positive which means i can have pneumonia tomorrow but i shall die prouddy. i shall die proudly. >> this is a happy day for you. >> i celebrate. in my as a rule toculture when e this the heavens are open. >> good omen. >> thank you very much madiba. >> thank you. >> how far have you come?
>> that's tremendous. listen. enjoy the day. >> all right. will do, ma'am. hope you enjoy yours too. >> absolutely shocking weather here today. this doesn't happen this time of the year. somehow it's happening today but it's not putting off these people. >> winnie mandela just arriving at the stadium. just being escorted through there. >> this is our sister station sky news reporting there on the ground. we also have greg palkot our senior foreign correspondence there on the ground as well. i'd like to talk to you about the crowds. i believe this is winnie being escorted through. that's what sky news was repo reporting. >> reporter: i'm sorry? >> it looks like his wife is
being escorted through to her seat. >> reporter: that's what i understand. that's what i understand. the ex-wife of nelson mandela, winnie mandela arriving at the stadium. >> his second wife. >> reporter: that's right. not his current wife or his widow shall i say. she was a figure in her own right. an anti-apartheid figure that got into her own set of trouble with the authorities and at the end of the day after 27 years in prison, just a short time after nelson mandela left prison, they separated. so the personal life of nelson mandela certainly did take it's toll. probably a good point to mention that. we haven't discussed that yet. he was considered the father of south africa, a global icon. but it was very tough for his family members. for his wives, for his children, for his grand children to get close to him. first of all, he was in prison. second of all he was so involved
in so many issues and he too admitted that. he said it's nice to be a father of the country. but it would have been nice to have something that i didn't have and that is to be a very close father to the children. but certainly we have been hearing the children express their love and feeling for the man. we ran into one of the grandsons of nelson mandela yesterday and he was out trooping the stuff with a band and a neighborhood of johannesburg, that's the former and final home of nelson mandela. so they are celebrating the man. they're celebrating their father, their grandfather, as well as mourning at the same time. >> greg, you have been there reporting on this for the last few days. what are the folks saying as you're eating at different restaurants and as you're walking along the streets. what's the mood there? and what are you hearing from individuals? >> reporter: they are saying one thing, really.
absolutely, two things. one thing is that they are very sad. they are moved by the passing of this man that was so much a part of their lives but at the very same time that they are happy, they are cheerful, they are celebrating. but more than anything else, this was expected. for several years nelson mandela has been suffering from illness and he is, was, 95 years old and certainly expected to pass at a certain point and so the people were prepared for that. so part of the culture here is to celebrate death, celebrate more the life of the person rather than more morbid thoughts. that's what we have been seeing. dancing, singing, chanting and a very friendly mood here. a very friendly mood to us. we feel a bit part of the family here because of the global contact nelson mandela made. just in a few days that we have
been here and, again, just keeping you updated to what's happening here, the event should have started, what? about 35 minutes ago. as i understand it, it has not yet and the streams of people still coming in battling what i would describe as, if not hurricane forced winds and rain then gale force winds and rain. remember this is supposed to be summertime in johannesburg. this is the southern hemisphere. people are coming in. but i'm watching a big group of people and young children too. they have their umbrellas out and they're singing and dancing and they're maybe happy so they can take in the whole event. somehow i think this thing is going to wait all day. >> it never rains this time of the year in johannesburg and in her faith she believes that the heavens are opening up and
raining and pouring down on such a special day as they honor such a great man. describe the stadium for me, greg. do we have a lot of people filling in? i know at the beginning of the show at 4:00, it looked like the upper deck area was full. because of all the rain people were taking cover there but the bottom deck and even on the field, no one seemed to be there. is it filling up now? >> it should be more so. they were looking for cover at that time but if everybody i'm watching is going into the stadium, then it will be filled up. capacity is 85 or 90,000. it was the main stadium of the world cup events here in 2010 and, again, good to mention to our viewers, this has a special place in the hearts of people that know nelson mandela. this was the last time that he made a public appearance. it was at the final of the world cup matches here. he loved sports. he saw sport as something that
grew the people together. he embraced the south african rugby team even though rugby was seen as a very white sport. when they were winning and gaining their own championship, he decided to go out there and hug them. they hugged them back and that's just one way he helped to win whites and blacks over to his cause. he loved sports. he was a boxer in his early days. he spent a lot of time in gyms in johannesburg and there too, he said boxing was a place where no man can say something more than another. that rich is not important. being poor is not important. it's just performance. he saw boxing as a way to level things out. so, again, a good idea to be in a sporting venue to honor nelson mandela. a good idea to have all of these people here. >> absolutely. greg palkot stand by for us.
thank you, greg. now let's go back to our sister station sky news and hear their reporting. >> it's extraordinary to think that was only 33 years ago. so much has happened in south africa. so much has changed then from those days. apartheid, a divided nation came together to be reconciled and united under the leadership of nelson mandela. world leaders, statesmen, heads of government and heads of state have been pouring in here over the last hour or so. with him, three former prime ministers, tony blair, brown, to help the leader and prime minister a short time ago as well who said that he
remembering learning about nelson mandela. what a privilege it sis for him to learn about this moment in history. for them to learn lessons about what nelson mandela has done and achieved and the values he has set. we have seen jacob zuma the current south african president arriving. he of course the president that took over two down the line from nelson mandela. mandela came to power in '94 but only served one term as president. he was 75 when he came into power. and he handed over. the memorial service when it gets underway, leaders from around the world but also
celebrities that associated with nelson mandela. we saw charlize they are ron earlier. she was born in south africa. a small town 30 miles east of here on the other side of johannesburg. we have seen bono arrive. the star of u 2. he got to know nelson mandela very well over the years. naomi campbell that was pictured a number of time with nelson mandela. she is a super model and he was also quite taken by the spice girls when he met them. quite a number of celebrities. oprah winfrey is going to be here today.
>> i wonder what south africans will make of this week and this day. how much it will mean to them and how much they will take strength from this to move forward. >> you know, it's our 20th anniversary of our freedom in this country. and to me, and south africans, the depth and the time of the year should be putting us top say how do we move forward. if you look at how do we move forward as united or move
forward as divided. more forward as the poor and the rich or move forward as just a nation. [ inaudible ] and i'm hoping that all south africans, you know, will use today and use madiba's vision to move forward. and what -- [ inaudible ] >> if you're just waking up with us, you're watching the memorial in south africa in honor of nelson mandela. it was supposed to get underway at 4:00 eastern time. here it is at 4:42. you can still hear the music. you can see this man singing and a lot of the crowd gathering there and dancing as the cig y
dignitaries are coming into the stadium. greg palkot is our senior correspondence there on the ground. what does it mean for the politics going forward in that country? what does this mean? >> reporter: as i have been standing here in this heavy, heavy rain, watching these hundreds and hundreds of people walk by us through the terrible weather to the mission of honoring nelson mandela, i'm seeing people from all walks of life. old and young, rich and poor. because this country is a country of inequality. this is a country with real problems. nelson mandela, when he was president, acknowledged that. he broke down the racial barriers but there are still big economic barriers here. there are sprawling townships where people live in poverty or haven't been able to achieve what they wanted to achieve. economic disparities, high crime rates, a slowing down of growth that was important in this
country. so from what i hear, from people i have been speaking to in the last couple of days, when they take a breath and they pull away from their love action their admiration for the man, they realize that once this day is over and once this week is over of memorial events, they'll have to get back to the hard job of making south africa what it is and what it should be. the african national congress is the political party that nelson mandela didn't found but he was certainly a leading member of it and that is dominant party here and we'll see a lot of that. jacob zuma, the president of south africa will be speaking today but the african national congress seemed to many as a corrupt body that's not fulfilling the dreams of the people. so looking beyond this day, they might look at other people and other parties that are speaking up and speaking out for the poor and the people who have not achieved what they have yet to achieve. so in the background of all of the celebration, there is some
serious challenges for this country. but, i guess, everybody would have to say, on this day, they're pausing. this week they're pausing. and then they're celebrating the man, who for them, provided so much hope. maybe in a time that still provides a lot of hardship. >> it's just such a remarkable story when you know that he came from royalty in a small tribal village. he was educated. he had many people believing in him. he had a strong family background. and then because he felt such a strong love for south africa and for the people and wanted to make a difference an wanted to change, he was willing to die for his cause. ended up in prison and was going to serve a life sentence. got out and became the president winning the nobel peace prize and now look at this, filling stadiums. making quite a difference. and the impact he made not only in south africa but for all of us that are reporting and many people across the world.
sh. >> i think -- i think -- >> go ahead, greg. did we lose greg? well, i want to read some of the comments that i have been reading online. defining symbol, one man can make a difference and change a country. someone else writes known as one of the most peaceful freedom fighters of our time. someone calls him freedom. another father figure. even in complete silence, you can hear his music. now let's go back to sky news and listen to their reporting right now. actually we're being told we're not going to do that. you're watching the memorial service just getting underway. nelson mandela. 1918 through 2013. died at the age of 95 this past week. many people are filling that stadium. the stadium holds nearly 100,000
individuals. and the overflow crowd will be sent to smaller stadium where is they can watch on video. now, this is inside the stadium where individuals are being lead in. dignitaries from all around the world representing different countries and his family members are on the program to speak. interface prayers will be underway soon and while we wait for this tribute to nelson mandela to get underway, let's take a look at the fascinating life of the man who would become an icon of anti-apartheid and inspire not just his countrymen but people and leaders all around the world. jonathan hunt has more. >> reporter: when nelson mandela walked free from prison on february 11th, 1990, he knew as did the rest of the world that white domination in south africa was about to end. mandela had fought apartheid since it's introduction in south africa in 1948 campaigning peacefully at first and then
advocating and taking part in violent resistance. in 1964, mandela was sentenced to life with hard labor and sent to the notorious robin island prison. worldwide protests against the apartheid regime quickly gathered pace. ♪ free nelson mandela ♪ 21 years in captivity >> and nelson mandela became the most famous political prisoner on the planet. within months of his 1990 release he was holding peace talks with south africa's then president. and in april 1994, with apartheid abollished nelson mandela became president himself after south africa's first all race elections. >> i have fought very firmly against white domination.
i have fought very firmly against black domination. i cherish the ideas of the new south africa where all south africans are equal. >> nelson mandela served just one five-year term but remained perhaps the most influential figure in south african politics. certainly the most loved for what he went through, the dignity he displayed and the change he brought about. but typically for him, mandela gave all the credit to his fellow citizens. >> south africas people -- for future generations. for it is you, the people, who are the true heros. >> this is the memorial service for nelson mandela. a man who has changed the world. changed south africa. was the president after being imprisoned.
was face a life sentence and -- let me tell you a little bit about his history. he was born in 1918 on july 18th in a small african village. his father was a viable chief and viable royalty and teachers changed his name to nelson and groomed him for leadership. he then decided he was destined for a prearranged marriage and decided he didn't want to do that. so he went to johannesburg for college and then saw for the very first time he was out of his small african village and saw for the first time the apartheid and saw the racism an wanted to make a change and wanted to do something different and change that country. so he decided to join the african national congress change the world and the goal was democracy and civil nonviolent way. he met his first wife evelyn and
they got married. he opened up a law firm and defended black clients against the apartheid laws and was repeatedly arrested. he was charged with treason and charged with other things. arrested. in and out of prison and then she decides to leave him at this point because the pressures were just too much for her. then, they lead a sabotage. his party lead a sabotage and 60 individuals were killed. 180 were wounded. they were charged with sabotage and charged with conspiracy. and he got life in prison at 44 years old. and then he was released from prison when the anc was declared legal again. and then in 1993, he won the noble peace prize. in 1994, the first time in more than 300 years, blacks in south africa were able to vote for their leaders and mandela at the age of 75 was elected the president in a landslide. and the races were united. he actually showed up at the
world cup at a game in this very stadium where they're honoring his life. it was a traditional white sport. he showed up in the middle of the stadium to unite the different races there in south africa. that was a turning point for his presidency. his second marriage ended. it ended in 1996 and he married again two years later to his third wife on his 80th birthday and in 1999 he stepped down as president of the anc and south africa. let's go back to sky news. >> you know, we still have to work on in this country. >> it's probably fair to say, it probably represents how much more work jacob zuma needs to do to win over the hearts of south africans. >> there has been a lot of
division in the anc but also overflowed to the movement that is aligned to the anc is also divided. and again, it's all during his leadership. so you are going to see a lot of that cheering. i'm listening very carefully. let's pop outside and join up with alex crawford, our special correspondence following the crowds as they try to get into the stadium. alex. >> the weather isn't getting
better but as people keep reminding me, it is a blessing in the african culture. how did you find the journey here? was it a tricky one? >> i'm sorry. >> how did you find the journey here? was it a difficult one? or was it already? >> yes. it was okay. >> did it take you awhile to get here? >> we had to go through -- [ inaudible ] >> that's very important. >> very important day for us. >> i understand that the leader of zimbabwe has arrived. you must be very proud. >> yes. it's very good. i think this is going to make us very proud as a nation.
we have from -- [ inaudible ] -- >> what are your big memories of nelson mandela? what will you remember most? >> the day he came out of the jail. >> that was a special day. >> you know, seeing him for the first time after being in prison for so long. >> when you saw him, what you did you think? >> i just cried. >> did you imagine even then that he would go on to be president? >> yes. that he will. the raining is a blessing. so it shows that the leader and the king of south africa. >> we're going now. enjoy your day ladies. thank you for talking to me. >> the rain in the african culture is a blessing. well, there's plenty of it
today. thanks very much indeed. alex there with the crowd down there in the rain braving it all. and and they're trying to get in today as well as the world leaders. it would be interesting to see if they would go over and greet him. that will be interesting as will be some of the other meetings up there. president obama when he arrives, brushing shoulders with the president of cuba for instance. we'll find out more in a moment as this memorial service of nelson mandela finally gets under way.
you're watching the memorial service of nelson mandela. almost an hour delayed here. we'll start fox and friends first at the top of the hour but right now, real quickly, let's brief you on what's happening there. this is the soccer stadium in johannesburg which is where he actually went to college in that city. it's the f and b stadium and it seats about 95,000 people. overflow individuals will be forced into smaller stadiums and will be able to watch through video. security is a concern there. there are thousands of officers there. hundreds of dignitaries. we have four u.s. presidents in the crowd there. president obama and michelle. president george w. bush and his wife laura. president bill clinton and hilary clinton as well as their
daughter chelsea and president jimmy carter is in the audience as well. it is raining there which is not characteristic of this time of year for johannesburg. many people say that that is the heavens opening up for such a man that is loved in south africa. the former president, nelson mandela memorial service from 4:00 to 8:00 a.m. and then thursday and friday, the public will be able to view his coffin. no word yet on if it will be an open coffin and then his funeral in his hometown is on sunday. you're watching the memorial service of nelson mandela. we have continuing coverage all morning. fox and friends first, starts right now. good morning.
if you're just joining us, a massive memorial service for nelson mandela is underway right now in johannesburg, south africa. >> here's a live look at the soccer stadium where nearly 100,000 mourners are gathering. >> we'll have live coverage throughout the hour and continuing throughout the service. the service is streamsing online as well if you're interested in watching it that way. fox news.com. but first, other stories making headlines today. and we begin with a fox weather alert. more snow expected to hit the northeast today on top of slush and ice left from sunday's storm. >> maria is in the weather center tracking the second burst of snow. maria, what's the time line for this storm. >> good morning. well, we're actually already seeing that snow coming down early this morning across portions of the state of west virginia and ohio and western part of the state of virginia. now we do expect significant acumulation in some of the areas but widespread amounts of two to six inches are forecast across
areas where we have winter weather advise risk. that's across west virginia up into tennessee up into parts of new england. so the corridor will be impacted. that includes washington d.c. and philadelphia and new york city. we're looking at an 2-4 inchesf snow. winter weather advisories posted there. winter storm warning for philadelphia and dc we could be seeing higher accumulations there. in philadelphia forecasting 2-4 inches of snow in washington 4-6 inches of snow. we are looking at millions of people impacted for the morning commute as you head out to work. new york city i think around 10:00 a.m. it will miss the morning commuted for those out there. as the storm system exits at the will see the snow picking up. off of the lake we are seeing accumulations out there over a