tv Up to the Minute CBS December 10, 2013 3:10am-4:01am PST
this remarkable service that is taking place in front of us now with the heads of state and so many people, not only heads of state but famous people. bill whittaker is standing by. >> reporter: a lot of south africans are highly respected. >> bill whittaker, can you hear us? >> reporter: it is very noisy here. i am hearing you now. what i wanted to tell you, if you just look around and take a look at the crowd, it is remarkable. there are white south africans and black south africans all sitting here coming together to say farewell to nelson mandela. this is a rainbow nation. this is the nation that he fought and said he was going to put his life on the line for. it is hard to believe that just a couple of decades ago people thought this country might go
into a civil war. because of the politics of nelson mandela, it called for healing and it pulled this country together so that when you look around today and see all fees faces coming together to say farewell to him, you know there is a lot more to do in south africa. they have come a long, long way. a lot of thanks to nelson mandela. >> as we listen to the music also, the list of speakers to follow include president obama, then followed by the president of brazil, the vice president of china, the president of india and president raul castro of cuba and the keynotes which will be delivered by the president of south africa and as we watch this genuine musical
appreciation. as we watch this musical event of what nelson mandela meant to south africa. talk about the list of speakers. they were talking about chance encounters between president barack obama and cuban leader, castro and president karzai of afghanistan. how would they handle that? it is a very dicey situation. are you going to be seated next to each other. will there be a time for the two of them to interact? what would be the interaction? we're looking for that. >> as we await president obama's remarks here on this special report on cbs news, we should point out that the president's adviser said, this is a very
personal moment for president obama, because nelson mandela was a personally roe, even though they met just once in 2005. they talked on the phone. mrs. obama later got to meet with michelle obama and her daughters met there. it is interesting, the president's advisers said in his remarks, he will talk about how nelson mandela was a multi-faceted figure that almost seemed meant to be that he would become the man he was. it was actually decades of persistence and that there is something, a larger lesson to be learned, from the life of nelson mandela. >> he said his life was profoundly changed by nelson mandela. go ahead, charlie. what were you going to say? >> here it is the commission of the a.u. commission chairman, dr. zuma, who i presume will introduce the president now.
i am struck by the wonderful colors you can see throughout the stadium. >> michelle obama said when she went with her daughters, the main thing she wanted to say was thank you for the work you have done, the legacy you have left behind and the way you have changed my life and my husband. i couldn't think of many -- the only thing i wanted to say to him, to impress upon him, was how grateful we were to him in this country as well. she said it was a very special moment for her and her family. >> president obama said his first political act ever was protesting apartheid. that was his beginning moment in terms of getting involved in politics. there was a very deep connection between barack obama and nelson mandela as a role model. barack obama did not have a father of his own growing up. he viewed just asth madiba is viewed as a father in south africa, was a spiritual father
for barack obama as he has written about in his own autobiography. >> i read that every day he protested the apartheid as it began to get momentum. >> it is interesting you point out these colors. in this country, you wear black at a funeral in celebration. in south africa and many african nations, color is very important. color is always a very celebratory thing. >> you will see a lot of green today. >> a lot of green and yellow and red today. >> the beautiful colors of the flag of south africa which represent so much of that country. >> president obama, i'm sure, this is a speech that he, as you suggested, put a lot into, because he has said, it is hard to capture nelson mandela, because not only was he this figure we saw, this man with a smile and a giant of this nation
but also the leadership qualities that he reflected in being able to come back and to forgive. and to reconcile and to build a nation. the evolution took place in him. >> we want to go to mark phillips who is about five miles away from this stadium where there is a huge overflow crowd of people that want to take part in this day. mark, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, norah. well, i'm in another stadium about five miles from the main one where the service is will be held. the whole intent here through this whole week of commemoration is one of making the celebration of nelson mandela's life accessible to people. it is a difficult place to get around the township surroundings of johannesburg. communications are not terribly
well established. in order to accommodate people, this is a stadium called orlando, one of the big soccer teams plays here. people have come through this rain. what they say is, they could have stayed at home and watched it on tv or gone to their local cafe. they wanted to come out to be together. this is very much a week where the connection between nelson mandela, even though he has been out of public life for so long, even though he has been so frail and in decline for at least a year now. he still maintained direct connection to the people and they maintained a very close affection for him. so this is very much a question for them of coming out and expressing collectively the kind of feeling that you feel all over this country. this is the great leader of this country and one of the great leaders of the past century in
the world. but you are struck at how personally people feel toward him. people will tell you, i owe everything to him. my kid is in university because of what he did. that kind of thing. people stop you on the street. if you ask people whether they are sad about all of this, about this final passing, they tell you no. this is a time of celebration. when we first came in here this morning, everybody was dancing and singing. i'm sure you'll see more of that afterwards. a particular kind of an african celebration and a particular kind of south african celebration that only somebody like nelson mandela could get a crowd like this on a day like this, only nelson mandela could get this broad range of diverse dignitaries in the same place. the idea of the president of the united states sharing a platform with the same man as the president of cuba.
hard to think of anyone else in the world who could make that sort of thing happen. the weather, forget about the weather. people here want to come together, celebrate this day and celebrate this great life. >> i also saw a picture of f.w. clark, the man that nelson mandela negotiated with to bring the end to apartheid watching as they worked hard and negotiated hard to bring an end to apartheid and the release of nelson mandela. >> reporter: that is very true. it's what you hear here. nelson mandela is not just a hero to black south africans which make up the vast majority of the country, he is a hero to everybody here, including the white south africans, the former white regime was a very brave one. they were forced into it by economic sanctions and other
kinds of pressures and the moral rectitude of the battle that was being fault. his greatest gift he was being remembered for was not just long walk to freedom, the long fight for liberation but the reconciliation he saw afterwards, bringing everybody into the fold, saying this was and is a country for everybody. the inequality economically and socially is much less than it used to be. a lot of brave people coming together here on this very historic day. >> mark phillips, we thank you. as you point out and everyone knows, he has been out of public view for a very long time but he was still considered the moral compass of this country. everybody knew that nelson mandela, even though we knew he was frail and fragile, everyone thought of him as the moral compass. out of this sadness comes
opportunity. what will the people of south africa do with this. can you talk about that, john? >> reporter: can you roux he pete that? >> i was talking about nelson mandela being the moral compass of the country even though he has been out of view for some time. people still knew he was somehow still in charge and in control. >> reporter: he is the moral compass and precisely the fact that he has been out of the public eye, out of politics. he may be like the moral conscious of this country for many years to come. specially it is already right now this unexpected memorial service. the camera pans on to the
current president. when his name is mentioned, clearly, what they are booing is looking at where he stands relative to the moral compass that nelson mandela fought for for the country. they think that he is wavering from that course. you are seeing it in action right now at mandela's funeral. you are seeing that the moral compass is in action live. >> john, this is charlie rose. there was also, as you have pointed out, nelson mandela's understanding that they had to surprise people when he made the commitment he did to the rugby team famously saying, we have to do this, because we have to surprise them and show them who we are.
>> reporter: this element of surprise is a big thing. i think that we are having a massive surprise right here at this very minute in the way this funeral is a massive political event. you mentioned that the famous rugby final. there is no one on the political horizon in south africa and certainly not president zuma, who is capable of turning people around, of transforming the mood of the country the way they were able to with that extraordinary mastery of political leadership and persuasion that he has. it is really, really fascinating. mandela's moral weight moving very heavily over this event and the current government.
>> john, you point out his moral weight. you see the people there in a celebration, dancing for nelson mandela. john pointed out, of course, the movie "invictus" about the 1995 rugby world cup. it is that poem "invictus" by william earnest henley, that brought nelson mandela comfort for so many years and those famous lines from that poem, it matters not how straight the gate, how charged with punishment is scrawled, i am the master of my faith. i am the captain of my soul. that has been the hallmark of many of the people that we have talked to that knew nelson mandela so well, that have written about him, that despite 27 years of imprisonment, what was private bitterness and sometimes anger, he was the captain of his soul in terms of making sure that did not dominate dominate his life. instead, he became such a
wonderful figure of reconciliation and why this is a global pilgrimage. >> when you look at the pictures and you see the people dancing, i see many toy-toy moves. nelson mandela would do that. you couldn't help but smile when you saw him doing that little chicken wing movement with his arms. many times in africa, people laugh and sing and dance through their sadness and their sorrow. these are people celebrating nelson mandela's life. if you didn't know this was a funeral, he would not know this was a funeral. they are in a stadium. a lot of cheering. people are very happy on this particular day to give what they call the old man a long good-bye. we are in the process of a ten-day funeral service for nelson mandela. >> you always hope at a time like this, that this will somehow cause a recognition of the possibilities of south africa that nelson mandela dreamed of. >> people will tell you there is still work to do in south
africa. everyone knows there is still work to do. we will see it remains to be seen what will happen after the death of nelson mandela in this country. bill whittaker is inside the stadium. i know the weather is very dreary. a friend says, that's why we have umbrellas, nobody seems to mind this very drizzly weather there today. hello, bill whittaker. >> the president is making his way under the umbrella as he makes hi way. >> reporter: you see president obama making his way to the stage now. it is one of the highlights, if not the highlight, of this day. people have been waiting to hear president obama's speech. as he said earlier, when he came
in, the crowd went wild cheering. now, the moment has come. he is greeting all of the other dignitaries, ban ki-moon. obama has said that nelson mandela was one of his heroes. i think it is fair to say that president obama is a hero to many of the south africans. they see in him something like some of what nelson mandela was like. a nation as large and powerful as the united states is. they see that in president obama. >> president obama is shaking many of these world leaders and dignitaries and shaking the hand
of raul castro and others. >> on sunday, when we were at the kennedy center, i saw some people were the white house. they said, we aren't sure if president obama will be speaking on sunday night but certainly by monday, yesterday, we knew he was part of the program and they had a speech ready just in case. it is interesting to point out since bill said, president obama was cheered when he arrived and president zuma, president of the country, was booed. that's a very interesting dynamic. >> this is a famous gospel song.
>> let me hear you. ♪ >> it doesn't matter what happens, my life is in your hands. >> that's a very, very famous song. ♪ lord, i can make it >> he will sing and encourage the crowd with the words. that's exactly what is happening. ♪ my life is in your hands >> can i get a witness up in here? ♪ no matter what, my life is in your hands ♪ >> say the words again, my life is in your hands. ♪ my life is in your hands >> johannesburg, my life is in your hands.
>> he is a very famous gospel singer here in the united states. ♪ my life is in your hands >> my life is in your hands no matter what happens, my life is in your hands. every time i hear that song, it gives me goose bumps. >> thank you very much. >> that was a celebration from the united states. we would now like to welcome to the stage and ask him to address us, president barack obama.
and government, past and present, distinguished guests, it is a singular honor to be with you today to celebrate a life like nelson mandela. to the people of south africa, people of every race and every walk of life, the world thanks you for sharing nelson mandela with us. his struggle was your struggle. his triumph was your triumph. your dignity and your hope found expression in his life and your
freedom, your democracy, his cherished legacy. it is hard to eulogize any man, to capture in words not just facts and the dates that make a life but the essential truth of a person, the private joy and sorrow, the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone's soul are much harder to do so for a giant of history who moved a nation toward justice and in the process moved billions around the world. born during world war i, far from the corridors of power, a boy raised herding cattle and tutored by the elders of his
tribe, madiba would emerge as the last great liber ray toator 20th century. like ghandi, he would lead a movement that had little possibility for success. like dr. king, he would give claims to moral necessity of racial justice. he would endure a brutal imprisonment that began in the time of kennedy and khrushchev and the cold bar. emerging from prison, he would like abraham lincoln, hold his country together when it threatened to break apart. like america's founding fathers, he would erect a constitutional order to preserve freedom for
future generations, a commitment to democracy, and rule of law, ratified not only by his election but by his willingness to step down from power after only one term. given the sweep of his life, the scope of his accomplishments, the adoration that he so rightly earned, it is tempting, i think, to remember nelson mandela as an icon, smiling, detached from the poverty and affairs of men but madiba himself strongly resisted such a life portrait.
instead, madiba insisted on sharing with us his doubts and his fears, his miscalculations. >> i am not a saint, he said, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying. it was precisely because he could admit the imperfection. because he was so full of good humor, even mischief, despite the heavy burdens that he carried, that we loved him so. he was not a bust made of marble, he was a man of flesh and blood, a son, and a husband, a father, and a friend. that's why we learned so much from him and that's why we can learn from him still. for nothing he achieved was inevitable. in the arc of his life, we see a
man who earned his place in history through struggle and persistence and faith. he tells us what is possible, not just in the pages of history books but in our own lives as well. mandela showed us the power of action, of taking risks on behalf of our ideas. perhaps mandela was right that he inherited a rebelliousness, a stubborn sense from his father. we know he shared with millions of black and other south africans the anger born of 1,000 stripes, 1,000 indignities, 1,000 unremembered moments to fight the system that imprisoned my people, he said.
but like other early giants, the sisulus and the tambos, madiba disciplined his anger and challenged his desire to fight in the organization and platform and strategy for action so men and women could stand up for their god-given dignity. moreover, he accepted the consequences of his actions, knowing that standing up to powerful interests and injustice carries a price. i have fought against wlhite domination and i have fought against black domination. i have cherished the idea of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and equal
opportunity. it is an ideal which i hope to live for and achieve but if need be, it is an ideal for which i am prepared to die. mandela taught us the power of action but he also taught us the power of ideas, the importance of reason and argument, the need to study not only those who you agree with but also those who you don't agree with. he understood that ideas cannot be contained by prison walls or extinguished by a sniper's bullet. he turned his trial into an indictment of apartheid because of his eloquence and passion and his training as an advocate. he used decades of prison to
sharpen his arguments but also to spread his thirst for knowledge to others in the movement. he learned the language and the customs of his oppress sorors s that he might better convey how their own freedom depended upon him. mandela demonstrated that action, that ideas are not enough, no matter how right they must also be chiseled in the law and institution. he was practical, testing his beliefs against the harsh surface of circumstance and history, encore principles, he was unyielding, which is why he could rebuff offers of unconditional relief, reminding the apartheid regime that prisoners cannot enter into
contracts. as he showed in painstaking negotiations, the transfer of power and draft through law, he was not afraid to compromise for the sake of a larger goal. because he was not only a leader of a movement but a skillful politician, the constitution that emerged was worthy of this multi-racial democracy, true to his vision of laws that protect minority as well as majority rights and the precious freedom of every south african. finally, mandela understood the ties that bind the human spirit. there is a word in south africa, ubuntu.
a word that captures his greatest gifts, his recognition that we are all bound together in a way that is invisible to humanity, that there is a oneness to humanity, that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others and caring for those around us. we can never know how much of this sense was innate in him or how much was shaped in a dark and solitary cell. but we remember the gestures, large and small, introducing a jailor as an honored guest in his inauguration, taking a pitch in a uniform, turning his family's heartbreak into a call to confront hiv/aids that reveal the depth of his empathy and
understanding. he not only embodied ubuntu, he taught millions to find the truth within themselves. it took a man like madiba to free not just prisoner but the jailor as well. to show that you must trust others so that they may trust you. teach that reconciliation is not a matter of ignoring a cruel past but a means of confronting it with inclusion and generosity and proof. he changed laws but he also changed hearts. for the people of south africa. for those he inspired around the globe, madiba's passing is rightly a time of mourning and a time to celebrate a heroic life. i believe it will also prompt in
each of us a time for self-reflection, with honesty, regardless of our station or our circumstance. we must ask, how well have i applied his lessons in my own life. that is the question i ask myself as a man and as a president. we know that like south africa, the united states had to overcome centuries of racial subrogation as was true here. it took sacrifice. the sacrifices of countless people known and unknown, to see the dawn of a new day. michelle and i are beneficiaries of that struggle. in america and in south africa and in countries all around the
globe, we can not allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not yet done. the victory of formal equality for universal franchise may not be filled with drama and moral clarity of those that came before, but they are no less important. for around the world today, we still see children suffering from hunger and disease. we still see rundown schools. we still see young people without prospects for the future. around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs and are still persecuted for what they look like and how they worship and who they love. that is happening today. and so, we, too, must act on
behalf of justice. we just act on behalf of peace. there are too many people who happily embrassed madiba's legacy of reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reform that would challenge inequality and growing. there's too many with madiba's struggle for freedom but do not tolerate the steps from heir own people. and there are too many of us, too many of us on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism, where our voices must be heard. the questions we face today, how do promote equality and justice,
how to uphold freedom and human rights, how to end conflict and sectarian war. these things do not have easy answers. but there were no easy answers in front of that child born in world war i. nelson mandela reminds us that it always seems impossible until it is done. south africa shows that it's true. south africa shows we can change. that we can choose a world defined not by our differences, but by our common hope. we can choose a world defined not by conflict, but by peace and justice and opportunity. we will never see the likes of nelson mandela again.
but let me say to the young people of africa and the young people around the world, you, too, can make his life worth your own. over 30 years ago, while still a student, i learned of nelson mandela. and the struggles taking place in this beautiful land. and it stirred something in me. it woke me up to my responsibility. to others and to myself, and it sent me on an improbable journey that finds me here today. and while i will always fall short of madiba's example, he makes me want to be a better man. he speaks to what's best inside us. after this great liberator is
laid to rest, and when we've returned to our cities and villages and rejoined our daily routine, let us search for his strength. let us search for his largeness of spirit, somewhere inside of ourselves, and when the night grows dark, when injustices weighs heavy on our hearts, when our best laid plans seem beyond our reach, let us think of madiba. and the words that brought him comfort within the four walls of his cell. that matters not how straight the gate, how charged the punishment, the scroll, i am the master of my fate, i am the captain of my soul. what a magnificent soul it was.
we will miss him deeply. may god bless the memory of nelson mandela. may god bless the people of south africa. >> there it is. this young president of the united states, in part, a son of africa, goes to remember nelson mandela, a look back and to remind everybody, including those there around around the world that nelson mandela's journey continues, and the struggle is still there. >> there's still work to be done. he got some of the biggest applause when he used the word 80 ubuntu" which means human kindness. i love the part of the speech where he said ubuntu describes
the greatest gift, recognition that we are all bound together in recognition to the eye and there's a oneness in humanity in ubuntu. >> he compared him to gandhi in his leading of the resistance movement to dr. king in our own country, and to abraham lincoln who he said would hold his country together when it threatened to break apart. >> there's more to come. i'm sure this will continue with several more speakers. president and mrs. obama will leave south africa this evening to fly back to washington. you can find streaming video of the entire memorial service at cbsnews.com. and we will have complete coverage at 7:00 a.m. this has been a cbs news special report with gayle king and norah o'donnell. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,