Skip to main content

tv   Fault Lines  Al Jazeera  December 5, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm EST

5:30 pm
that nelson mandela lived. a man who took history in his hands. and bent the arc of the moral universes towards justice. may god bless his memory, and keep him in peace. >> remarked on the passing of nelson mandela from the president of the united states. for those of us just joining us, we received word on the passing of the former president of south africa, nelson mandela at the age of 85. he had been ill for some time. he was in and out of the hospital most of the summer, suffering through lung problems so he wantedded with pneumonia. we received word from the family that mandela was still fighting that he
5:31 pm
was struggling. let's get to mike now. the president has often called nelson mandela a personal hero. he visited the nation in june. >> right. >> a personal hero, and an inspiration, and you heard the president recount this often told story. as a college student, he got involved in the antiapartheid movement. at that time, his first exposure, inspired to politics by nelson mandela, and the president said something else that he said before. and i think it really strike as cord with the presiden
5:32 pm
in june he was there with his family. he was not able to meet, because of the ailing -- because nelson mandela was of course ailing. he met with his family. was told of nelson mandela's condition at that point, he had first met president mandela in 2005, actually here in washington suddenly he called him, from his et here in room just down the georgetown. and president obama came to see him. so it is a lifetime of inspiration, there are obvious parallels. of course, his father from the continent of africa, them son mandela, the president being the
5:33 pm
first african-american president, it's almost too obvious to point out the deep rest nantz there. between these two men. and obviously someone that president obama looked up to a great deal. >> mike, appreciate that, thank you. >> joining us now he is a professor from ucla.'s goo, one of the real joys of this moment, is going to be had a personal association. with nelson mandela if you want to take a look with the former south african president. >> well, i have known about nelson mandela since i started studying and he had always been promptly inspirational. i met him for the first time after he had been released from prison. for all of that time in the 70's and 80's he was in prison. i was struck particularly by 1 point that president
5:34 pm
obama just made. he did indeed take action with the demonstration about apartheid. i think it was in 1981. many people have had a different time from being influenced by mandela's yeah teak of ratism and his rule that existed. and that goes back to the early 1940's when he was one of the founders of the african national congress youth lead. the most stage system of government in africa. >> can you talk to us about given your studkies in this area, can you talk to us about the transformation of this man? he started out leading a peaceful movement, he was shocked like so many others with what happened at sharkville. and seeing women and children killed.
5:35 pm
and he went underground, and he formed the military wing of the anc, he goes to prison, and there is this transition. can you talk to us about nelson mandela during those prison years and that transformation. the think sing that he is both an inspirational and elegant sportsman. he is also a very practical politician. he has argued a peaceful change when that was possible, he considered that armed struggle might be necessary. he only opted the struggle in the early 1960's, and it was at that point that the south african government has banned the congress, if you were black, you could not vote, not even speak politically. even when he was released from prison in the 1990's, he did say, or he
5:36 pm
would not renounce the necessity in certain circumstances for using armed struggle. remember the south african military was threaten to have a coupe, and there was a good chance in 1994, instead of having an elected black majority, we may have seen a white racism military regime. it came very very close. >> professor, hang on, i can see ali velshi nodding here. >> yeah. professor remember in the negotiations leading to the first election, the white supremacist drove a tank into the hall where the negotiations were going on. this was very close. this could have gone the other way very well, and you will remember, professor, that there were discussions that nelson mandela was offered his freedom earlier in exchange for a very clear renunciation of violence and refused to do so.
5:37 pm
he argued if he renounced violence from the chance to negotiate from a full system. the government -- if they did not want to do a transition to a majority government, but wanted to come up with checks and balances one that still whites and blacks, and determined people under that regime. besides the tanks or the vehicle that went to the theater, remember also attempted military overthrow, in early 1994, and particularly the very dramatic photograph of right wing white soldiers, militia, lying dead shot by black policeman. that demonstrated that the white struggle was eventually over. >> can i ask you both about another -- this is fascinating to me.
5:38 pm
can you ask about another moment when things could have gone in an entirely different direction, and professor, you would have paid close attention to the period of time right after kris honey was killed, correct? that was in april of 1993. >> right. >> can you talk us how fragile a period that was? >> fragile in theceps that there's a lot of black suspicion of the readiness of the white government to honestly negotiate. but there was no attempt by the black forces at that time to engage in a military struggle. the risk always in south africa has been of a right wing, whether it's minority movement, or a larger movement within white -- that was the real risk of it. >> yeah.
5:39 pm
>> south africa is a very young people, and at the time, even as he matures into a man who can embrace peaceful resolution, and negotiation, he always did have pressure from the more militant wings. sometimes they were other groups that said this will be an armed struggle. i think there were people that were dissatisfied that it wasn't the civil war that there wasn't this cathartic experience, i think people will see this as a better thing in the word, but there was some thirst of revenge, and he never used those words. he never called for revenge, some form of reconciliation commission to investigate the crimes that had taken place. so je, there were people that felt there should have been a resolution, because that is one of the long term problems in south africa, though it transitioned to a place,
5:40 pm
still many people discontented because they had not been a reallocation of property. so that you take fit one group and give it to another. >> as happened nazem bam way. >> yeah. >> so and the -- in the longer run, there is also the potential for some of the same discontent that you see. not the property half the end of that racial rule. and there's -- there are extreme forces in south africa, who potentially in the future who called for greater change. >> can i ask you, professor, to reflect on the u.s., and the role in supporting mandela, particularly in the period after his release, and alli was just telling me a story about president clinton. and his thoughts. >> i was on monday at the clinton library, in little rock.
5:41 pm
and this whole time, what an interesting time, because you saw the other world leaders that are there, and normally there are g eight leaders but he has a very prominent space. and president clinton and president mandela, had a very close personal relationship. you remember the picture of them holding hands. >> nelson mandela couldn't get to the library and up until monday they zillion hold out hope that nelson mandela will get to the library. i will say. >> taken back as far as you want to. in the ragan years, a statement from.
5:42 pm
>> the number of beam that can come in, particularly, the authorities. >> clinton is a key figure here. another charismatic individual who speaks elegantly about the need for greater social benefits to a launch number of people, and i think he and man kela, hit it off in a personal way. that was not possible for mandela with any oh leader of the united states. >> what are your thoughts oen this moment that the country enters now? i would love to hear your thoughts on that as well. this period of time after
5:43 pm
the death of mandela, the mourning period that is to come, and the south africa that epersonals out of this. >> i think lit probably be a very important time for south africans as a group to reflect on his heritage and what he did. a lot of discussion in south africa about crime, and such like. but nelson stands above it all with extraordinary inspirational figure that says that everybody that lived in south africa, should be a south african. my wife and i have the experience. that he was. >> stop by and see the numbers of people -.
5:44 pm
>>peoplethank you for your time, again, our thanks to the colleague ali velshi for being here with me, ker thomas allenis a film harris. he met nelson mandela shooting his film 12 disciples of nelson mandela. well, it is a pleasure to talk to you, what are your moments at this hour? >> well, deeply saddened with this great man, he stood for so much. and his vision was so powerful. all the years and also -- becoming president and giving up the power. >> the power -. >> and i think it is so t for our people.
5:45 pm
>> and we have such a great loss. >> hang on, i know you want to echo this point. it was a big deal. >> yeah. and stepping down may have been his biggest legacy. and -- about 80% of them stayed on about nine terms too long. >> we were just talking about zimbabwe. >> when he came on, he held a lot of prompt, nelson -- look, he was an older guy, he put in his time 27 years at rob been island and being president. the fact that he moved on, there are nobody who perfect what has happened in south africa, and that his successors lived up to his mantle, but at least he had successors. >> yeah, i would agree. you know he -- when nelson mandela was went underground after sharkville, the south
5:46 pm
african freedom fires and one of them was my step-dad, because that led me to go to south africa, when he died he left his exile was with with imprisonment, when he was released from prison and the first waive that left came back 30 years later. they left when they were young men. so i went -- i went to south africa to make this film about these guys to come back, because most south africans did not know about the global movement of the antiapartheid movement, and that was the vision of nelson mandela, to create something that was sustainable through the clap down that happened in the 60's. and so i met nelson when i was filming in 2003, at the -- at a celebration.
5:47 pm
his birthday celebration. and there was just so -- it was amazing to meet them and to be able to speak with him. i first learned of him when i was eight years old, my step-dad had just joins my family which happened in -- i believe it is the 1980. >> it just seemed like it was -- the power was so strong.
5:48 pm
>> i was there with the south african guy that was working on his third degree, because he was one of these people probably not officially compiled. but nelson mandela and that crowd -- encouraged beam that had the means and the ability to go to western countries in in public administration, who could be so that whenty day imgoo this was not a government with anybody who had worked in government, because if you are black in south africa, your only job is a secretary or a deliver guy guy. >> right. >> so there were a lot of beam that went out there and trained for the day that south africa would be free, because nelson mandela asked them to. >> absolutely. very few had means. my dad and the group that left, did not have means. a lot of people -- they basically walked, and scraped their way 1300 miles from south
5:49 pm
africa all the way to tan disa mea tanzania which was the closest independent nation. from there they were independent on scholarships to liberia, to east germany, ultimately to the united states. to lincoln university, which educate add lot of south african exiles. and that was their purpose. to get educated. my tag came here with the pup of becoming a political journalist. and he was not able to get -- maybe he would have been hired. but he was not hired by anyone and eventually ended up working for the united nations at the apartheid division in the antiapartheid radio. and he had three degrees. a bachelors and two masters. one in library studies and one in communications. it was -- he died right -- his death coincides with my going to south africa for his funeral, and it was then
5:50 pm
that i realized that i was walking in his well, thomas, i am interested what did you learn in in the making of the film, and the, cans what were the things that you learned in those conversations that will never leave you? >> the persistence of vision. that even when things look the most dire, that justice can win out. that i want to come back british prime minister is speaking now. a man who suffered so much for freedom and justice, and a man who flu his dignity and triumph inspired millions.
5:51 pm
the strongest impression of all, when you met him, was of his extraordinary and forgiveness. tonight families will mourn with his family, and i believe that his inspiration for the future will be every bit as powerful as the extraordinary things that he achieved in his remarkable life. thank you. >> his thoughts on the passing of nelson mandela. >> symptom mas., are you there? thomas i was asking your thoughts and what you lad
5:52 pm
made from your film, lessons that will never leave you? >> well, the persistence, the vision, that justice will win out. then the most dire circumstances of my dad not having a job, no one knowing about south africa. there being a complete white out the cruelties of the apartheid regime. that the anc was viewed as a communist group, that continuing to fight is good fight, and educate people, and continuing to keep one's own commitment to better once self, and to stay the course, when everything looked like there was no possible of hope, no possibility of south africa becoming free, that was an amazing vision. and that pass down to me, that was -- i think that vision came from nelson mandela. knowing that he was staying the course,
5:53 pm
despite being locked in prison. and doing grueling manual , and demeaning circumstances. that he was actually able to continue the course. that's been passed down. and that's what i learned. and so it gives me hope, for the future. >> let me see -- here is some of the singing and chanting that is going on now thomas stay right where you are. let's give a listen. ♪ ♪ ♪ nelson mandela
5:54 pm
♪ nelson mandela ♪ ♪ >> we are back here. this discussion, thomas, is having about communism, this is a very interesting point. >> yeah. >> nelson mandela and the early anc. talks as communists, they called each other comrade, if you live in a capitalism enterprise, communism seems like a bad thing. if you are black in south
5:55 pm
africa, communism meant you were equal. and the way in which they kept the anc down, was the suppression of cocainism act. so you can arrest anybody in south africa, without charge, and hold them in jail without being charged at all. and then they got out of jail at a certain amount of time, maybe 30 days and you could arrest them, and arrest theft gem on the suspicion of being communist. they convinced everybody that can't have communists running around, and that's how they made these racist laws work and work, and his comrades as he called them, worked around that. and they persisted. as thomas says, of something that looked like it would never change is the hallmark of these anc men and women. that you would never seen pictures like this. >> in the old days you would have been arrested for have blacks and whites arm in arm chanting in the street, couldn't do that. >> as we get closer to the top of the hour here,
5:56 pm
and we rescap where we are on this day, for the nation of sought africa, and ink deed, the world. nelson mandela, the father of the modern south africa has passed away, 95 years old, and this is one of the most isogeneic pieces of video in the world. >> yep. >> this is february 11th. themson mandela, hand in hand with his then wife winny. walking out of prison. and alley, you had told us an amazing story of your connection to south africa, and your family's connection. >> i remember this day. i remember it's hard to keep it together looking at this, because i remember when it was happening and thinking that back in 1961, my family left south africa, under force because they had been involved in the antiapartheid movement. what was called the
5:57 pm
ive resistence movement. took over the mantle of these are two men who worked together. south africa is where gandhi became activists. and to sigh this happening it was a day i always hoped we would see, and i never believed we would see. and to think four years later he would be elected the first democratically elected president, it is -- it's very -- it's a sad day for the world, but very hard to be sad today when you look at what this one human being achieved. if we can achieve a 10th of what he did, we will have made the world a better place. >> let's do, do we still have pictures from joe bird. as question get closer to the break here, we are do a complete reset on this story. in just a couple of minutes, but this is a picture from outside of -- i believe this is mandela's home in johan
5:58 pm
news burg. whites and plaques there together. let's go to break now, let's listen to the chanting on this day as we learn of the passing of nelson mandell that. power
5:59 pm
of the people until we restore our freedoms atñ
6:00 pm