tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC December 10, 2013 1:00am-2:01am PST
remembrance of nelson mandela and the first reference of what will be many all day as our coverage continues of this memorial, and that is the absolutely miserable weather. we feel mostly for all the folks who have filled what is the largest stadium in the continent of africa, 95,000 give or take capacity. this hugely built for the world cup soccer in 2010, and most of the spectator areas are covered, and there's a tremendous premium put on seats for the people, and we talked a lot about the dignitaries, but this is an opportunity for the people to come and remember the life of nelson mandela. all day long we will be showing
these pictures as they come to us from host television, south african television, and their cameras, there are many, and they are scanning the crowd, as you can see, and we will see many members of the mandela family, and many world leaders, and there has bench talk and speculation about the odd combinations between presidents and kings and a few sorted de dictators and criminals wearing suits, and a man who befriended them all, by the way. president obama and mrs. obama and former secretary of state, hillary clinton, and there are the bushes, quite a plane load from air force one coming from
washington. a light rain became a heavier and steadier rain today, and we are getting winds of around 20 miles per hour adding to how unpleasant it was. president carter, there, we spent time with him yesterday th. they are a group called the elders, world leaders who have been giving advice and council to nelson mandela and this country. this will be a very good time to tell our audience i will be joined by a veteran journalist and correspondent and a resident over here for much of the past 20 years. sharlane, as we see the scenes go past, you can help me on what
we are watching. the arrivals very solemn. >> you talked about the rain, and we're sitting in it, but, you know, i have gotten so many text messages from south africans, thank god for the rain because the rain is a messing out in south africa, and they are seeing it as a blessing as much as they are able to say good-bye to nelson mandela. >> yeah, nobody is bothered by the rain. perhaps the americans are bothered by the rain. naomi campbell is here, and a couple bold-face type celebrities are here, and all of them in the patchwork of what was the life of nelson mandela,
befriended nelson mandela all over the years, charlize theron, and bono, and they were on separate flights because of family arrangements, but there is tony blair, one of four british prime ministers that will be attending today. john major will be here. gordon brown, and of course, david cameron, and there is clairic, i heard an interview with him this morning talking about the important tupbce of t gathering. the seats down front and exposed in the rain have been late to fill in, and nobody can blame them. but as we look at the stadium, it's filling in a little slowly.
maybe you are better equipped to see some of the folks as i am as they come in. >> i am not sure, but i think that's my floor mate -- is that the president of brazil? she came in about 3:00 this morning. >> we have several delegations in ours including the italians. everybody has hotel lobby fills of lapel pins and ear pieces, and the last two leaders of france, the current, and it really is like somebody moved the united nations to johannesbu
johannesburg. lester holt is in our camera position inside. lester, tell us the scene there. >> i can tell you i got here about 6:00 this morning and the crowd was gathering outside, and we were standing in front of the gates when they unlocked them, and there was a rush to get in to find seats and seats under the overhang because of the rain, but i got to talk to a lot of people here, and the joy was just infectious from people, and i talked to young people, a couple young people that were born shortly before the p parthied. it's a lot of feeling, a lot of young people have joined the crowd. i would state stadium is roughly halfful, and the camera may not be able to show, the crowds are
very thick under the overhang, and we had the steady rain all morning long and it's spring in this half of the world and it's the rainy season, and it has not detoured anyone, and they want to be here for the moment, and several people told me i want to be part of the history, and some of the older people here say i want to make sure my children will experience this moment. one person was clutching the official program saying i will give this to my child one day, and she is childless right now. you can't help but be swept up in it all. as they come here and as they salute this icon, this man that went from prisoner to president and has become a shining light, a shining example of power, and
reconciliation here and certainly across the world. >> lester holt who is down at our camera location on the floor of the event, and lester, we're going to try and get you a hand held microphone so we can hear you. we know you are fighting with the over head audio, and will be all day. while lester was talking our cameras continued to show some of the dignitaries and ordinary citizens gathering. we saw briefly a shot of one of the members of the world cup -- south african world cup team, the story that was memorialized in the movie "invictous," and
again, we will continue to watch these delegations. that is stephen harper. there we go. there is nelson mandela with the world cup trophy. there has been a hitch with getting people in, registration, correct? >> yes, and a hitch with mandela and her family. i spoke with them a few minutes ago and they still had not received their registration. i thought part of the reason the media registered, and there were hundreds of us and they were giving registrations to ordinary citizens, and one would have thought of course the family would have them, but we are waiting to see whether in fact they do get permission to come through the gates, because they are being very strict about it even though it's a large odd
sto auditorium. they were talking about the beast, in the context of obama, and the person on the air was saying were you making a comment on president obama as the beast, and he said, no, no, no, that's what they call the car. >> that's right. >> i think a lot of people are here because there will be the state funeral in mandela's home, but it's difficult to get to, so i suspect this is why so many of the dignitaries were coming here to j to johannesburjohannesburg. >> yeah, it was not built to
host -- >> i think that's the president -- i just got a glimpse of his head. >> we were on the highway coming here -- >> yes, there he is. >> there is president zuma of south africa. >> and one of his many wives. >> there was an overturned food truck backing up traffic, and we think there was a motorcade in there, so it was very exciting trying to get here, and you get the impression half the world were trying to get here as well. there were lines of five and six hours of credentials for the news media. they are coming up to what is the kind of covered entrance to this beautiful soccer stadium in saw wet yo.
>> i have to say i came in just as you did with crowds of cars and i was so struck by how much improvement has been made here. it's raining. i didn't have a rain coat, so i stopped, and the driver said there's a shopping center and i said, okay, what kind? and we go in and every conceivable designer shop was in there, and it was just amazing and there were not many people because it was early in the morning, but the driver told me by midday it would be packed. that tells you about some aspect of the economy. >> yeah, absolutely. must be good news in there. lester holt is back with us from inside the arena where it only has gotten louder, lester. >> it's gotten louder, and that's why i have the set of a sports announcement, and it's loud.
the gates opened at 6:00 local time here and they came in here and they have been singing and chanting and just a sense of euphoria here. you see the band moved into the stadium, so we suspect things to get underway shortly as more dignitaries collide. the crowd has been enjoying themselves and singing along with what they know, and in this part of africa, rain is considered a good omen, a rebirth, and so how fitting it is that we are experiencing this steady rain this morning. >> hamid karzi arriving in his traditional garb from afghanistan. if you are up with us after 4:00 a.m. eastern time, you can go to the new york times website and see an interesting article this morning on keeping some of these leaders apart.
you have got raul castro, and japan and china, and they have to have a seating area. at this point we want to remind our viewers, you are watching live coverage of the remembrance of nelson mandela. >> interesting you should mention where they might be seated. i am sure they thought carefully about that. i thought just as we saw hamid karzi coming in, you have to wonder how close he is to president obama. i have not seen the complete list but when i did look at the list, it seemed as though they were most here, including mogabi who had a contentious
relationship with nelson mandela, and he is here to celebrate mandela, and it sounds like, you know, people are embracing what was told me to last night, the word is forgiveness. >> yes, and here comes ellen johnson. >> and her beautifully attired clothing. >> she set the standard, and we now expect it of her. >> that's right. i like the military escorts for them all. that's a nice pomp and circumstance. >> i interviewed her once in her own country, and my first question, of course, is where did you get the outfit? she said, you know, i have a
very good designer from my own country but he lives in paris. >> well, that's good. as long as there is that local tie. >> and there they are. >> i found it interesting, in bill keller's obituary, he talked about a contentious relationship that president mandela had after he left office -- oh, i am sorry, that is the deputy president -- and he told somebody he doesn't want these contentious words repeated until after he passed, but i found that a little strange, actually. i have not been able to pin it down. >> i saw that, too. as we look at him, while those on the outside were left to
wonder about the relationship and listen to the ovation he is getting as people see that he is arriving. >> there is the deputy president of the country. i first met him when i came here in 1985, and he was heading the national mine just starting, and he was a quiet lawyer, but he has risen to the top echelons of power here. >> look at the nations, just by garb as we look around the world, i don't know, i can't help but feel good for south africa, of course, terrific for the memory of the man they all gather for today. what a challenge this handed the nation in south africa. it's not -- here is the coming week, by the way.
today is what used to be called soccer city when the whole complex was born, and then nelson mandela will lie in state at the union buildings, if you saw "nbc nightly news" last night, and if you see us tonight, right behind our anchor location again. if you saw the movie, a lot of scenes took place there. the procession, and this is the part of the country called the eastern cape, nothing to do with cape town, it was not built to accommodate the kind of people it's going to accommodate for the barrel. we are in johannesburg, and
protoria is just a little way from here, and then very few people have been out there. >> yeah, i am a rural girl -- >> i happen to know you are from a town back home called due west -- >> yes, it's a little like due west but even more remote. he was a sheep herder with the other kids, and he played kwroebgz on people, and it's about two hours from any airport where any size airplane can land, so it's going to be very difficult. all of these years when he has been ailing, he has talked about wanting to go home, meaning pass on in qunu, and unfortunately
his health did not allow him to get there because they had a full icu in his home, but he will be laid to rest there, and i think that would please him. >> there is ban ki-moon, secretary of the united nations, when we say it's like having a portable united nations here for one day, we truly mean it. but this is important, it's important for people around the world to see what caliber man can bring together this desperate a group and this large group of world leaders. >> it's clear that there is no person on this continent i don't think that can draw this kind of a crowd. i think it's interesting that it's in the soccer stadium. because there were many reasons
for the end of a par taeud. they were prohibited because of sanctions, and it's fitting in a way that you have a celebration of the man that brought all of that to an end and is happening in a soccer stadium that south africans love. >> what i love is the colors. the colors are so fantastic and beautiful. what we just saw a bit of in the previous shot is all the different uses of the south african flag. >> that's -- she's head of the african union. >> we don't have time. you and i are both over. >> that's right. >> okay. >> she is head of the african union, the first woman, and as
you know, she was once deputy of the country, and she was a long time ago married to president zuma. i have never seen any kind of discord between them. and there has been some speculation that she might be president of this country one day, but of course that's speculation. i guess i shouldn't be speculating. but -- there is one of south africa's billionaires. >> that's news in itself, a development over the last few years. joining us, we have already heard from lester holt at the stadium, and the intrepid andrea mitchell up at 4:00 a.m. and on duty in our washington bureau, and by request because andrea's
time as a correspondent has overlapped the presidents from the modern american era who all had nelson mandela in common, talking to jimmy carter here yesterday, and having talked to bill clinton last week, you realize that mandela had all of these separate and deep friendships with these men, with their families, and like the pairable of the blind man and the elephant, they came away with the different impressions and memories, but andrea, they are part of the true line of history that includes nelson mandela. >> indeed, they are. and in your recollections and your meetings with jimmy carter and bill clinton, they are so much on point and also bush 41 because of his age, he doesn't have any particular health problems, but at 89 this wouldn't be an easy travel for
him, but he was actually very close with him as well with mandela. it was interesting how quickly -- i was looking at the video yesterday, and it was on february 12th that he came into the briefing room, so one day after mandela came out of prison, george h.w. bush declared how important it was for history that mandela was out of prison. he, again, had been a big supporter and very quickly embraced mandela, and this is against the back drop of reagan's long-standing resistance, and mandela's first interaction with the american president was in the cold war context where he was viewed part of the add srversaradversary, a reagan did not see the bigger
picture and the importance he had for south africa and the world, and opposed him and going up against his then secretary of state george schultz and republican leaders in the senate, and finally led the way to override his veto in link with the congressional black caucus and the movement in the united states, so the interactions with american presidents is so fascinating, but it was bush 41, and importantly jimmy carter is here as a member of the elders created by mandela, and as we see now, more arrivals, brian. >> andrea, i can't help but notice -- by the way, for the viewing audience, this bears repeating once or twice more, this is the south ofafrican hos
tv, and they are in charge of televising the event, so the picture and picture elections, as ban ki-moon is introduced, the picture and picture selection are up to them, and we will narrate as we can. we see a shot of tony blair who is as of now sitting off and alone in the rear of the vip area, and he has been going through some trouble right now, potential trouble for his reputation involving some rumors about romantic intanglements and the former mrs. murdoch, and he, too, has a deep and multi-year relationship with nelson mandela. >> he does, indeed, and also his role as the middle east
negotiator for palestinian economic rights, but the peace talks but the economic rights, so he still remains on the world stage and was a very close -- had a very close relationship with nelson mandela. you were speaking earlier about the possibility of chance encounters, and one intriguing would be raul. the cuban leader, that day fidel castro came side by side very briefly with bill clinton, and it was the last year of -- the closing months of clinton, and castro was an early supporter of mandela, and he shook hands with bill clinton, and today there are two speakers, raul castro,
and president obama, the president of cuba. apparently, according to members of the national security team, they have no assurances of any seating arrangements or any way of keeping them apart, so we don't know whether or not, according to protocol or however they are going to arrange this, whether castro will be seated anywhere near barack obama, brian. >> we were saying they will go to extraordinary lengths to keep everybody separate. you see the early introductions going on in the stadium, and those of you awaiting the arrival of president obama, he is still at the hotel. they have to hold some of them back so they are staggered as they enter, and his security is larger than most.
>> it's very interesting, when i was traveling with president clinton when he came -- >> hang on one moment. we need to tell our viewers that you are watching our live coverage from south africa for the memorial at the stadium here for nelson mandela. nelson mand i was traveling with president clinton at the time, and he was visiting and there was a huge event down in cape town, and there was some talk about the people who president nelson mandela embraced that were enemies of america, so to speak, and actually this is one of the strong traits that people talk about former president mandela, he almost lectures
president clinton that day saying that we have friends who were friends with us when we needed friends and we are never going to abandon them, and the same with gadhafi, and castro, and there was a tense moment, but there was a time when president clinton -- i see winnie mandela did in fact get her credentials, and there she is, looking very sad with her daughter, and there is michelle who was by president mandela's side the entire time that he was ill in the hospital, and at home, she counseancelled many speaking engagements to be by his side, and that was an indication things were taking a turn because it was a big deal
for her, and she embraced women on the continent trying to up lift them in entrepreneurial positions in the economy, and she was to go and make a speech and cancelled and that's when we knew the end was near. >> the crowd i don't think that she is here yet, shrouded by an umbrella, and we may hear a roar. does look stricken and kind of -- >> drawn. >> drawn and lost. >> it has been very interesting. there was a long period when nelson mandela and winnie mandela were estranged and divorced and many problems that came up about her relationships with different people, and even
charged with murder of a young person who had been a part of this struggle supposedly, and that is a tell tale. by the time mandela's son passed away from hiv and aids, they brought winnie mandela back into the fold so that practically every day when rossa michelle was at the hospital, winnie was there as well. there she is with her daughter. when nelson mandela was in prison, winnie was banned -- she had almost as a tough time as he did on the outside, she was banned and constantly harassed by the police, and mandela wanted to make a statement to his people to keep them charged up and continuing to fight.
she was banned and couldn't speak, so his daughter spoke and delivered his speak. it takes a village. and they have acknowledged that village. winnie looking as drawn asthma shell. i think she never stopped loving him. >> i am really struck by this sight of winnie. she looks so different. i understand it, and i understand what an emotional haul this has been, and there is nothing like all the world's media here commenting and asking how you feel every minute to focus the mind. >> i have been told by different
people that she has not stopped crying since he passed away. it has been a long struggle. surely -- oh, look at that. that's what i am talking about. that is the family that has been embracing one another throughout this period of mandela's illness, and it's an amazing sight. >> yeah, it is. >> lester holt, tell us about the reaction of the arrival of these past few guests within the stadium. >> you know, it has been very interesting, brian, because they are selectively showing some of what you are seeing on the jumbotron. when we first saw winnie mandela, i saw applause but it sounded like jeers, and michelle, there was a warm welcome as she popped up, and keep in mind this is a huge stadium and their best view will be as we noted, it will be on
the jumbotron. when ban ki-moon was seated, he waved at the crowd and got a warm welcome. i have spoken to some of the south africans, about the outpouring of the world, and they love it, frankly. they take it as certainly a validation of mandela's stance in the world, and they gladly and proudly share him with the world, but they remind you that he is theres, he is their family, and so it's very personal on that level. but they take great joy in the fact that all of us are here, of witnesses to the event to share it, and their enthusiasm and emotion is infectious. you don't see a lot of tears. you see a lot of joy and stories that people want to share with you on how their lives had
changed, and we saw it last night, and an interracial couple, of course we had to be there, nelson mandela helped to change the country and helped to change the world. so for many of the faces as you pan across the stadium, this is personal. it's deeply personal, because it affected their lives and the lives of their children, so as we focus on these world leaders, we have to be reminded that it's the 90,000 plus others that may crowd in here this afternoon that is very personal for them. >> yes, you are absolutely right. you were just pointing at the screen. it's quite a group photo, isn't it? >> it is. it's an amazing group photo. we also mentioned the ambassador to argentina, and here is the
president of nigeria wearing his -- the usual hat that seems to always be on his head. >> uh-huh. i always envied his name, one of the great names ever in world history. >> yeah, it's good luck jonathan. >> also well adorned and well turned out. you see a lot of these leaders bringing their own military escorts with them. >> and their own television crews. >> some stop and talk to the cameras and some don't. >> you can bet they are nigerians. they are in a class by themselves. >> in hotels that indicator to visitors here, it's remarkable to watch the proliferation of african cable news channels that really speak to every nation, every region, good coverage, lots of it, just goes on forever. >> it's really growing.
>> it looks like this is a crowd shot we're looking at now, if we can go back to the south african broadcasting feed. i guess i was seeing something we were unable to put on the air, just the amount of rain falling in the stadium right now, assisted by 20-mile-per-hour winds as we are hunkering down against both here in our live location, which is not at all far from the stadium. look at that. >> we talked earlier, and she is the head of the african union. i think she has held that position for less than a year. it was a very contentious campaign, but she triumphed. >> we knew our start time would be changeable, and we are indeed in a delay while we try to get all of these people in. by the way, wait until the u.s.
motorcade comes in here. >> wait until the beast gets here. "beast" meaning the car, of course. south africa has a reputation for giving really big events -- oh, there is president pena. he is under some controversy. we don't know what is going to happen with the war crimes tribunal because he has been indicted in actions going back to the election before this last one, but it looks as if that is being delayed. i know they want to delay it until after his term is up, so we just don't know what is going to happen, and meanwhile he continues on as the leader of his country. >> we have all but a shooting war going on in the central african republic right now, and the u.s. agreed to lift french troops in, and you have militias firing across each other across
civilians as times, and that's the next worry as africa continues to lurch from crisis to crisis. >> there was the former president of nigeria. i am not sure. he may be one of the elders, but he certainly has taken the role on the world stage since he stepped down as president of nigeria. of course he was in prison for a while under the regime of the late dictator, and he has survived that and come back as an elder, i guess you could say statesman. >> andrea mitchell, you must be as interested in these arrival photos as your role of chief foreign affairs correspondent as we are here at the location. >> it's just fascinating to see the parade of leaders and former leaders, and we have not seen anything like this, certainly not a gathering of heads of government and state, this large
since john paul ii's funeral, and the conflict was just yesterday, the white house issued a statement and calling for an end to the violence. of course, this is something that has been very important for the organization of african states, and they have picked up really the leadership and taken a military role. we just saw gordon brown walk through, as you pointed out earlier, and the british having such a great relationship, and thatcher with reagan resisted so long, and then the clerk said what do i do as the sanctions was moving so quickly in the united states finally, and she said you have to maintain your leverage and get ahead of it and release him from prison and do
it now before you lose your leverage, so thatcher pushed the final inch to quickly release mandela from prison, announcing it the day before. but you point out also before the transition in south africa. south africa still has the zuma regime, and then we see from brazil, cancelled the meeting here in united states, and she learned how much spying had been taking place against brazil, and she was furious and made an issue of it at the g-20, and cancelled the state visit, which was quite a declaration in diplomatic circles. they have a lot of peace making to form with brazil as well, so
that could be a sidebar conversation. south africa, as it was saying under zuma has not lived up to its real potential. it certainly has in terms of racial harmony. look at the crowd, and there is so much more that south africa could be if they could really pull together all of the people and all of the economic potential there. >> andrea, thank you, and thank you for calling out the dignitaries as you saw them. gordon brown among them. he told a terrific antic tkoet about a phone call nelson mandela made to the queen of england, and called her
elizabeth, and asked how the duke was doing, in his own style. now, toreants of rain. a really uncharacteristic day, the on set of summer, and we are fairly far north in south africa, and we want to remind our viewers, we are in the midst of live coverage of the enormous remembrance of nelson mandela in south africa. we are back and one of the notable things about today, it's the only other time we have had four living american presidents, the first one was back when king hussein of jordon passed away, and we had three presidents
travel together after the assassination of ravine, and all of these presidents have their own separate memories and relationships with nelson mandela, they all covered a different period of time from bill clinton to bush 43 to jimmy carter and to, of course, barack obama, who has we said has had a kind of special relationship with mandela and the mandela family. jimmy carter is one who sat down with us shortly after he arrived in this country yesterday to talk about not only how he first met and got to know nelson mandela, but how deep and how personal the relationship went largely because of members of jimmy carter's family. here is part of our conversation. >> i had a chance to meet with him, and he really reminded us that our daughter amy had been
arrested three times as a college student demonstrating against apartheid. that developed a friendship. >> his presence and his ora made for an era here? >> i don't think there's any doubt since mandela left office the harmony between black and white has gone down, and he appealed to black and white people here on an equal basis, and i am not sure his successors have been able to do that. >> the sadness we knew this day would come, and he was a 95-year-old man, and yet the signage on the streets thanking him, and there's a sign asking how did he change your world? it seems so sad here to have him gone. >> it is. you know, i have been impressed
with this south african attitude towards nelson's death, and one is as you mentioned, sadness, and the other is celebration. they are happy, bright, vigorous people on the streets singing songs of joy about what his life meant. >> president clinton has described him as almost on par with gandhi, and others have said he joins gandhi and king as some of the major figures of the last 100 years. where do you put him? >> i would say gandhi and king jr. and mother teresa, those that you look on with admiration and inspiration, and nelson mandela will go down as one of the leading people of the century. >> that was our conversation with jimmy carter yesterday.
you know jimmy carter very well. he is absolute of an absolute dynamo. >> he is. he never stopped. i worked on the carter board and see him several times a year, and i am just amazed, he never stops traveling around the world, and he is part of the elder's group you just mentioned, and we saw his grandson, jason carter, who is currently running for governor of georgia spent several years here in south africa working with the peace corps and speaks excellent zulu. >> carter complained when they went to introduce his grandson, they took off and left the former president out of the conversation. >> that happens. >> he is remarkable man in so many ways.
here is mahmoud abbabbas. >> he came over here with a single service agent on a commercial flight, and he doesn't like the fluff of office and never did. >> he is working with things serious in african concerns like polio, and he works on peace and conflict resolution, and he has been to sedan and all over the conflict zones trying to bring about peace. it's like several other presidents who are more -- have more impact after their presidency -- >> he has had the most impressive post presidency, i think it's safe to save than any american president. if you have seen the african
guinea worm, it's a terrible affliction, and you understand why it's been part of the work of his life, say habitat for humanity back home and all over the world. >> i think, again, we have all been talking about what a tribute this is, all of these people coming, what a tribute is to nelson mandela. here is a man that truly shares his values, and i think again as a testament that people like that are coming, and there is president jacob zuma with -- it looks like two of his wives. >> our viewers may not understand the cultural different. >> he has several wives, and in that culture it's perfectly allowable, and there has been a bit of controversy because he spent millions building a new home for all of them that i
understand is connected by tunnels, and so that has caused a lot of controversy because, again, you know, there has not been a leader quite like nelson mandela who was a very modest man. he loved to dress, and he was a very fabulous dresser, but there was never any talk of corruption. his administration, of course, was slow to come to the aids issue, although he came to it and really took off in telling people there is no stigma to aids, that you have got to get tested, and this administration has been clouded by corruption and while there has been no definitive charges about corruption with this president, the amount of money that he has spent on the current places where he and his wives live has just made on going headlines,
and on going questions about how can this kind of money be spent when there are so many people in poverty, the unemployment rate is somewhere unofficially around 30%, officially around 25, and 15 to 24-year-olds, it's almost 50%. >> and real concerns about crime. i have been pretty stunned in talking with some locals on this trip since i have been here at the jdowntown crime situation, it's very dangerous on a country that depends on tourism, and this story will get out just how dangerous parts of the inner city are here. >> it's not just the inner city. it's everywhere. but i tell young people who are still eager to come to this country to work, just be careful. that's the best i can do, because i think this country needs all the help it can get. it needs young people to come
here, and it needs teachers, and it needs all kinds of people, but as a young black panther told me many years ago when i tried to get into a press conference in new york for "the new york times" and he was suspicious of whether or not i would tell the truth, he said you can come in if you come in right. that's the story. you have to come in right. let's hope the leaders coming in here are coming in right and not just to be seen, but to be embraced. and there is one of the true dictators. not a great admirer of nelson mandela. and a dignity. they are trying to get a more equitable governance.
it's not a pretty story these days. >> just keeps getting returned to office on the magical way that he has. >> he is one of those that seems to live forever. he is in his late 80s and has not been well, but he keeps on ke keepin' on as we used to say back in the day. >> and we are watching the president work the vip area here, and we have seen very interesting embraces with raul castro, and he did talk about his admiration of nelson mandela, and that's the only time i have seen him say something nice off the record. >> it's a little bit of a surprise, but it's a welcomed surprise. >> yeah, especially now,
especially in this period. everything you say about south africa, needing everybody's help, and this has been a remarkable story of this nation over the past few years, and tough to pull off, and it so easily could have gone the other way. for americans watching and you don't know the significance of the design of that flag, which was after all unveiled after the election of nelson mandela, walk us through the design of that flag. >> it supposed to represent all of the people insou south afric just as the national anthem, you know, part of it is god bless africa, and that's the african part of it, and then they move into another version, and initially when i was first here, the black south africans would say the first part and if there were white south africans, they
would sing the second part. when nelson mandela was in prison, he had a vision. even though he was sentenced to life, he studied, and he didn't speak it very well but it didn't matter because that was another bridge that helped this dream of a rainbow nation -- >> that's right. the arrivals continue. again, we will have a fair amount of warning when the massive american motorcade is on its way from the obama's hotel into this stadium. as you may know, when the president of the united states travels, something called a car plane arrives before the president and the ramp comes down and off come the vehicles that are blown over here,
helicopters are flown over here to facilitate his travel, but all of the armored vehicles are flown over operately. the african national anthem is being played in the stadium, which may indeed mean that we are getting closer to some of the last dignitaries arriving. >> this is the african part. maybe we shouldn't talk during it. i don't know. >> okay. e we shouldn't talk dur it, i don't know. >> let's listen in. ♪ ♪
>> thank you. thank you. long lived the spirit of nelson mandela. long live the spirit of nelson mandela. madiba mandela. viva! thank you very much. to the president, and the pretty president -- we welcome you back to our live continuing coverage of this memorial for nelson mandela. reached the noon hour here. 5:00 a.m. east coast time in the united states on a very t unpleasant day weatherwise. heavy rain, lots of it, increasing winds. most of the dignitaries you will see are, a, behind bullet-proof glass, b, a layer of glass separates them from