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Nelson Mandela Remembered

Aired December 5, 2013 - 21:00   ET


ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From the very beginning, the struggle to find him. Branded a terrorist by a brutal regime, he refused to submit. And when he walked out of prison 27 years later a changed man ... (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MANDELA: We must therefore act together as a united people for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.


CURNOW: It was Nelson Mandela who defined struggle and freedom (inaudible).

This is his story, Nelson Mandela, a legacy, a life remembered.

Where do you begin to tell the story of Nelson Mandela? Or perhaps there's no better place than here, the Union Buildings which were once the seat of apartheid power and now the heart of South Africa's democracy, thanks in large parts to a political prisoner, turned president.

His weapon was his personality, charm and charisma. They could touch even the most hardened of enemies coupled with an undying devotion to a cause that would define his life and the countries.

F.W. DE KLERK, FMR. SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: On the day when he was inducted as president, he stood there on the terraces of the Union Buildings in Pretoria he took my hand and he took it up and he put his arm around me and we showed a unity which I think resounded throughout South Africa and across the world.

CURNOW: May 10 1994, Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as President of South Africa.


TUTU: When Mr. Mandela was inaugurated as our president, democratic elected president, I wish that is (inaudible) and said, "Look here, (inaudible) I really don't mind if I die now." I mean, there's nothing to -- that is ever going to be able to top this.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CURNOW: After decades of violent struggle against a racist white government, the anti-apartheid movement had succeeded. What Mandela would do in those first moments in office would ensure the new found piece remains in the world's newest democracy.

Mandela's bodyguard, Rory Steyn, remembers on of his first assignments with the new president, an inauguration day football match in Johannesburg.

RORY STEYN; FORMER BODYGUARD OF MANDELA: President gets out of the car. He doesn't say anything to any of us. And he starts walking across this reception hall to the vehicle right where we should be driving at. The only person that's there is this old police colonel. I mean, old school South African police (inaudible). And the president walks directly towards him.

And as he comes closer this guy's eyes are getting bigger and bigger and bigger and he's thinking "Why is he coming to me?" And Mandela stopped in front him, and he put out his hand and he shook this colonel's hand. He said to him "Colonel, I just want you to know that today you have become our police and there's no more you and us."

And that impacted hugely on me as a fellow officer of this colonel that was standing there. And he said, "I'm not the president of the country but I wanted you to hear this from me personally, you are now our police."

And this old guy, 55, 56 maybe with all the experience in the world and all the lines on the dial, you can see he's been there and done that. And he started crying. And the tears, I could still hear them. And that started to change my thinking because remember I'm not in the security peace. I've been taught ANC ideology and, you know, they we're our enemy.

From that moment of this interaction between him and the colonel, I started to think, "Hang on, haven't I being wronged?"

CURNOW: Zelda la Grange was Mandela's personal assistant.

ZELDA LA GRANGE; FORMER PERSONAL ASSISTANT OF MANDELA: That he called all staff name basis, especially those from the previous regime, from the last government. He called them all and he said to them, "I know that you are afraid. I know that you don't know what to do whether you should leave or you should join my office, stay in my office and help us, but I really need all of you, black and white and people from the previous regime and the new comers to support us in achieving our goals for this presidency."

And that elate people's fears. It made them feel safe. So people had a choice, you know, whether they wanted to stay. And after few months they could clearly see, you know, what his agenda was with his presidency, which was unity and reconciliation.

CURNOW: A defining moment of that presidency would come during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. After decades in isolation, South Africa's sporting teams could once again participate against the world's best. And the county's first democratically elected president was there to cheer the spring box on in Johannesburg.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When he walked out of that tunnel wearing

STEYN: When he walked out of that tunnel wearing front (inaudible) number six jersey, that white predominantly Afrikaans crowds started chanting his name. (inaudible).

As I said, I get the response. I could not believe what I was seeing. How could this ever happen? And yet he just understood fundamentally understood that that kind of a symbolic gesture of putting on a rugby jersey and identifying with a logo, a symbol, would go so much further than any speech or policy, or, you know, political agenda ever. And brought I would estimate 85 percent of white South Africans on board right there on that day.

FRANCOIS PIENAAR, FORMER SOUTH AFRICA RUGBY COACH: It was magic, it was profound. It was incredibly necessary that the country of South Africa looked each other in the eye and say, "Hey mate. We're world champions."

CURNOW: What did Mandela say to you as that trophy was lifted?

PIENAAR: Very special, because when I walked up unto stage to get the trophy from Madiba, his first words were, "Thank you very much, Francois for what you have done for this country." And I became quite emotional because I couldn't believe that he just said that to me.

And my reply was "No, Mr. Mandela, thank you for you've done."

STEYN: And it was just one of those moments where you can't script that. Hollywood can't write this stuff, you know, it happened.

CURNOW: Mandela did the unthinkable by uniting the South African people, reaching out to the very people who imprisoned him and oppressed the majority. But it's what he did next that truly made him strand out.

MEREDITH: What marks Mandela's career as president almost more than anything else is that after five years, he stepped down. There have been very few presidents in Africa who over given up willingly.

CURNOW: In a continent known for leaders who take power for a lifetime, Nelson Mandela had served just one term. A man who knew the power of his actions.

CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, FORMER UNION LEADER: He was such a pillar of democracy in our lives. And his mere presence amongst us means that we cannot dilute the life that he gave to this country. We cannot dilute the contributions that he made. So we live up to the ideals that Nelson Mandela has lived for, democracy being the key one.

CUMROW: But still he was modest, without bitterness or revenge for his years of freedom, years that he used to study his oppressor and unite a movement.


CURNOW: South Africa, 1948, after years of segregation the new nationalist regime takes power and institutes apartheid. Racism is now legislated, white supremacy legalized. Forced removals follow as the four official racial groups whites, black, colored, and Indian are segregated.

The resistant movement responds led by a young black lawyer living in Johannesburg. Nelson Mandela is one of the African National Congress' rising stars, making him enemy number one for states that will stop at nothing to maintain power.

AHMED KATHRADA, FORMER POLITICAL PRISONER: All over South Africa, post offices, libraries, restaurants, hotels, all the public buildings, elevators, there used to be signs, "Europeans Only. Non- Europeans not allowed." There were even signs that said, "Non- Europeans and dogs not allowed."

CURNOW: ANC member, Ahmed Kathrada remembers Mandela a comrade for more than 60 years.

KATHRADA: The apartheid regime reduced human beings that were not white to the level of animals. So you said -- you saw that all over.

CURNOW: 1960, a police massacre at Sharpeville. 69 protesters are shot dead, many in the back. The government responds by banning all opposition groups including Mandela's ANC.

The ANC goes underground and Mandela becomes one of its leaders on the run. In his first television interview, Mandela is introduced to the world from his secret hideout.


BRIAN WIDLAKE, ITN BRITISH REPORTER: I asked him what it was that the African really wanted.

MANDELA: The Africans require want to franchise on the basis of one man one vote. They want political independence.

WIDLAKE: Do you see Africans being able to develop in this country without the European being pushed out?

MANDELA: We have made it very clear in our policy that South Africa is a country of many races. There is room for all of the various races in this country.

WINDLAKE: Is there any likelihood of violence?

MANDELA: There are people who fear that it is useless and futile for us to continue talking peace and nonviolence against a government whose reply is only savage attacks on unarmed and defenseless people.


CURNOW: Mandela and others established the Armed Wing of the ANC. A movement is now a militant.


MANDELA: It is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.


CURNOW: This audio recording at the Rivonia Trial will be the last words Nelson Mandela would utter in public for the next 27 years. Captured by the authorities, he is sentenced to life imprisonment.


GEORGE BIZOS, FORMER MANDELA'S LAWYER: If it needs to be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.


CURNOW: George Bizos is on Mandela's legal team during the 1964 trial. He says those words from his original transcript still resonate.


BIZOS: The courtroom was pact even though the police tried to occupy many seats to keep a lot of people out. And it was what one may describe the great play when the curtain goes down. And the people have been so inspired by the play that the applause takes a little while to calm. And there was an absolute silence as if people have kept their breath in.

And he turned around and looked. They were not allowed to applaud of course but they are words which I think would live forever.


CURNOW: Convicted, Mandela is moved to the infamous Robben Island of Cape Town with other political prisoners including Mac Maharaj.

MAC MAHARAJ, FMR. POLITICAL PRISONER: I first really got to meet Madiba when I got to prison in the 5th of January, 1965. And my first impressions from that close range was of a person who appeared to you totally open. You felt he was embracing you, was focused on you. You felt you had a special relationship with him.

And he says to me, "Mac, do you agree we are in for a protracted war?" Now, a protracted war in those years was a favorite catch phrase that we've inherited from Mao Zedong. He says, "Do you agree?" I said, "Yes, yes."

Then, ready to fight 'till the death. We'll defeat them in the end. Say, how you're going to do that without understanding how he thinks. No amount of reading textbooks will tell you that. Just to look at that how he's performing, what he does in previous battles. But he says, to understand him you need to know his language. Well, I'm already a man down.

And then, he kills me. He says, "You have to study his poetry. You have to study his literature. You have to study his culture because he's going to react. Those are the things that makes him what he is. And for you to lead him into a trap you need to understand how he is thinking.

I have to study Afrikaans.

CURNOW: So we're in the archive room here in they Mandela Foundation and one of the things that struck me about Mandela when looking back at his history was how he learned Afrikaans, how he got to understand the psychology of the enemy. There's a good example here, isn't there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it's one of many but this is a letter to the Minister of Justice complaining about conditions for his wife when he was also in prison at that time, raising other issues as well.

CURNOW: Written in Afrikaans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Written in -- it's actually in perfect Afrikaans. You know, and it's not only a question of language because I think you have to connect the learning of a language to the studying of a history. So that when he spoke to the enemy he did so with an understanding that the enemy felt disarmed by.

CURNOW: Smart. Also by Mandela learning Afrikaans and learning Afrikaans history, he was playing the long game, wasn't he? He knew that one day -- and it was 20 years later ...


CURNOW: ... that he would have to look them in the eye and negotiate with them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. Although, you know, you have to put yourself back to that kind of historical moment. It wasn't preordained. But he was committed to the long haul. This was something that he knew might take the rest of his life and it might not succeed.

But for him it wasn't just really a choice. It was something you just have to put in place, building block by building block.


MANDELA: When I was in Robben Island I was facing the trial for almost two years before I was charged for the Rivonia Trial and then on conviction I was taken to Robben Island.

It was not -- must to think of escape a day because you're surrounded by the sea and it would not be very easy at all. And I -- it did never entered my mind. I felt later that one was selling the papers even inside it. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MAHARAJ: After all the material deprivation and the assaults and the torture and the psychological, at the end of t he, himself, says he realized that everything in prison was designed to rob you of your dignity. That's what about it was.

But he says a profound thing. He says "Once I realize that, I knew they could not defeat me.

CURNOW: Through the '70s and '80s South Africa's townships were burning. A state of emergency was in effect and the apartheid regime never seems stronger. But international attention was also a building.

In 1988, 70,000 fans and many of the biggest names in rock converged on Wembley Stadium in London to mark Mandela's 70th birthday and demand his freedom. It was televised internationally.

And from inside jail, secret talks began between Mandela and several government leaders. After studying the enemy and the language for years in prison, this was Mandela's moment.

DE KLERK: My very first meeting with him -- he was I didn't know what to expect and there he was standing straight as a ram rod, taller than I expected. Being courteous, being obviously a man of integrity.


DE KLERK: The government has taken a firm decision to release Mr. Mandela unconditonally.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A salute from Mr. Nelson Mandela his wife, Winnie, greeting the people outside the fences of the Victor Verster prison

That is the man where the world has been waiting to see. His first public appearance in nearly three decades.


RAMAPHOSA: When Nelson Mandela walked free out of prison, the people of south Africa were free. But when he walked out everyone was walking on air and it was the most joyous moment of all our lives.


MANDELA: Today the majority of South Africa, black and white, recognize that apartheid has no future.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After 27 years, Nelson Mandela was free and South Africa had taken its first steps towards democracy. But those decades in prison had taken a toll on his health and his family.



MANDELA: One of the saddest moments in my life in prison was the death of my mother. She came a couple of times to visit me but the last time she came to see me it was in 1968; I could see that she wasn't well. As she left I looked at her as she walked to the harbour. I had the feeling that I had seen her for the last time and that was the case.

And the next (inaudible) was the birth of my other son (inaudible). It was right here. He was not only my son but a friend. And I was very hurt indeed that I could not (inaudible) to my mother and to my other son.


CURNOW: Nelson Mandela dedicated his life to freedom for all in South Africa. But in doing so, he lost his own freedom and his family.


MANDELA: Whenever anything happened with my family, I would come back, you know, from the (inaudible) from the party. And find (inaudible) so that I should see what is happening to my family outside.

That was very painful and cause the wounds which cannot be seen. And I spent a terrible time without showing my pain with anybody.



WINNIE MADIKIZELA-MANDELA: I was the most unmarried married woman because we really never lived together. We lived together for a few months. So our communication as family was always through the letters. And when he was in prison through (inaudible), even to this day, a parent like me still feel sad and guilt.

You decide to choose between the nation and your young children, and it was a very difficult choice.


CURNOW: A former South African President endured many personal hardships and got a complex and divided family.

In 1944, he married Evelyn Mase. They had four children although only one survives today.

In 1958, Mandela divorced Evelyn, the same year he met and married Winnie Madikezela. They would have two daughters together.

In 1996, two years after he became South Africa's first black president they divorced. And two years later Mandela married Graca Machel on his 80th birthday.


GRACA MACHEL, WIFE OF NELSON MANDELA: I think at the end of his life also he realized he achieved most of the things he had as a goals in life. You know, he's really a deep, deep, deep fighter for freedom. And he feels, you know, freedom for his country, in here.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he has had or has any regrets?

MACHEL: Yeah. There's only one I know of. You feel that he would have really liked to have much more input in the development of his children.


MAKAZIWE MANDELA, DAUGHTER OF NELSON MANDELA: I come from a divided family. And when you come from divided family there are things that, you know, not everything runs smoothly, yeah, you know?


M. MANDELA: The struggle and things. And so sometimes we don't see eye-to-eye. It was just that, you know? And for me I couldn't understand for a long while, a really long while.

CURNOW: Couldn't understand what?

M. MANDELA: I couldn't understand why he would choose politics over his children. That's how I saw it.


CURNOW: Makaziwe is the only surviving child from Mandela's first marriage.


M. MANDELA: In a sense we had a father who was there, who was never been -- and the (inaudible) he's never been bad, because he's been so alert by politics and when he retired, you can't relate because, you know, one other thing is I have children now, Robyn. Being a parent is not just about giving birth. It's being there with the ups and downs when the child is sick. My father missed all of that.


CURNOW: Zenani and Zindziswa were raised by Winnie while Nelson Mandela was in prison.


ZENANI MANDELA, DAUGHTER OF NELSON MANDELA: My mother only had a picture of daddy on the dining room wall, actually on the dining room door. And so, I had a vision of my dad being a very large man with a (inaudible).

So, when I saw him, when I was 16 the first time I was quite shocked to see that he was very skinny, he didn't have a side parting (ph) but he looked the same as the gentleman in the photograph.

You know, my father is quite authoritarian and from prison he really rules the family in terms of, you have to get your education, this is the way I want you to behave, and those values were installed in us even though he was in prison.

ZINDZISWA MANDELA, DAUGHTER OF NELSON MANDELA: I remember one of my first trips with him to the states when he was president. He was mobbed as usual by people. There's a women there and she came (inaudible) she collapsed. It was quite emotional. And he was very quiet in the car, even in (inaudible). He was so very quiet. He was like very reflective.

And then, he said "Darling, did you see how emotional that woman is?" And he says, "I wonder why." And for me even as a daughter, that struck me that he's very sincere (inaudible). It didn't occur to me that it was (inaudible) that he (inaudible) was impacted on her.

CURNOW: For as many grandchildren and great grandchildren, the lesson he's passed on will be remembered forever.

ZINHIE NKOSI, GRANDAUGHTER OF NELSON MANDELA: He taught me about patience. He taught me about wisdom. And he taught us as grandchildren just to be patient and make sure that in whatever you do in life you make sure that you look at him and say although things are going bad the outcome can always be great.

TUKWINI MANDELA, GRANDDAUGHTER OF NELSON MANDELA: There aren't too many leaders in this world who are humble, in -- yeah, you know, humble enough to say to people "I'm just a messenger." That's one of the greatest lessons that he's ever taught us.


MANDELA: But what truly matters are the small acts of kindness.


UNIDENTIED: I hope and I wish that apartheid world history and what my grandfather did. It's still something that I can tell my kids and my grand kids.

MIBUSO MANDELA, GRANDSON OF NELSON MANDELA: His ability to see everything in a peaceful light and make the best out of a bad situation, you know, always smile and always happy, never angry.

NANDIL MANDELA, GRANDDUAGHTER OF NELSON MANDELA: As much as he is revered the world over and we also, you know, very proud of him in those accomplishments, but I just believe that we all need to make our own footprint and be who we are and be allowed to be who we are. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to say that he's my role model, the one person that I will forever treasure. It is men and women like him that have enabled us to be able to have this freedom, and we ought to not take it for granted.

We ought to ensure that ordinary men and women of this country bled and died for our freedom and that is the legacy he leaves to us a family and to South Africans at large.

CURNOW: A father and grandfather often absent, always committed to the cause. But when we asked Mandela on his 90th birthday if he had any regrets ...


MANDELA: I don't regret it, because the things that affected me were things that released my soul.


CURNOW: Convince his would be a legacy shared not just by his family but with a nation and the world.


CURNOW: Retirement Mandela style. He left public office but still tried to change the world. His personal assistant, Zelda la Grange, has been by his side ever since the early days of his presidency, says their schedule was relentless.

LE GRANGE: In the first years we traveled nonstop. And then after his retirement, I refer to it as the crazy years and we just worked nonstop and traveled all over the world.

CURNOW: Why did he feel the need to work so hard and travel so hard not just when he was President, but during his so-called retirement years?

LA GRANGE: You know, what I think, he actually is a person that's driven to make a difference. I'm convinced. He wakes up every morning thinking, "How can I change the world? Whose life can I improve? Whose life can I touch?"

CURNOW: Mostly he was raising for money for causes close to his heart, children and HIV/AIDS.

OPRAH WINFREY: As we're having conversation about poverty and girls and how do you change poverty and the world, and I said, "One day I want to build a school." I meant one day, not that day.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This a president for anyone, anywhere who knows freedom, Madiba Nelson Mandela.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CURNOW: This 44664 concert named after his prison number on Robben Island raised money for the battle against HIV/AIDS.


MANDELA: What truly matters are the small acts of kindness and caring that come from a place of real love and compassion. Start up by protecting yourself and your loved one. Talk openly about HIV and AIDS.


SELLO HATANG, CEO MANDELA CENTRE OF MEMORY: He represents something in humanity that we should all have and it's that thing that's special in each of one where we need to reach deep to find it.

CURNOW: In 2009, the United Nations declared his birthday an international day of service. Nelson Mandela Day was Mandela's wish for people to give a little bit more of their time to help others.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That you don't just do it on the 18th of July but do it everyday.


CURNOW: Mandela's life story and unwavering philosophy gave him unique moral authority, even challenging other world leaders. He criticized U.S. President George W. Bush and Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair for their readiness to invade Iraq without the blessing of the United Nations.


MANDELA: George Bush as well as Tony Blair are undermining an idea which was sponsored by their predecessors. They do not care.


CURNOW: I just want to get your reaction to Mandela. What kind of a man is he to you?

GEORGE W.BUSH, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT: A historic figure that made a huge difference in people's lives.

CURNOW: He was quite tough on you, though. He criticized you publicly about the Iraq war.

BUSH: Yeah, we wasn't the only one.

CURNOW: And did you get backlash from people who you perhaps ...

LA GRANGE: Strangely no. No one every called us to say he was, you know, he was being too hard or harsh on people. I think you accept it when it comes from Nelson Mandela and you just live with it. CURNOW: And you probably knew he had that credit in a way that he could say things that perhaps other people couldn't.

LA GRANGE: Absolutely. And it's that moral, you know, the moral responsibility to say what he thinks and to say that he knows he is right is what made him such a great statesman.

CURNOW: A great statesman and in retirement, an effective fundraiser.

And in those years when he say he was so driven particularly after he retired, what was driving him? Was it fund raising, was it philistines that he needed to see the world? He had spent all those years behind bars. What was that that fundamentally drove him?

LA GRANGE: He, obviously, prioritized fundraising for the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and in Mandela Rights Foundation.

And so whenever he went, you know, he tried to include that. But again, that sense of making a difference in the world and even if it's in a rural community, building a school or clinic and improving education for rural communities, improving services for rural communities. He actually responded to whatever what was needed at that time.

CURNOW: But there were always strings attached said La Grange.

LA GRANGE: He felt obliged to do certain things. Now, they appreciate just got too much and that's when we see him stop.

CURNOW: So in 2004, Mandela retired from retirement.


MANDELA: Don't call me. I'll call you.



BILL CLINTON, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT: No one would have begrudged to him a quiet and peaceful retirement. But that was not for him. Like the old man in Dylan Thomas' famous poem, he refused to go gentle into that good night. Yet neither did he raged against the dying of the light. Instead, he simply soldiered on. Raging instead against injustice and leading us toward the light.


CURNOW: And while he soldiered on, his grandchildren said he lived a simple life.

MBUSO MANDELA, GRANDSON: Reading newspapers, eating food, talking all the time.

CURNOW: He still likes to keep in touch with what's going on, doesn't he?

MBUSO MANDELA: Yeah. That's what he does. If you come into the house, you'll see him in his chair, legs up, newspapers in his hand always.

CURNOW: And while he withdrew from public life, the public had trouble letting him go. His 90's were redefined by ill health, a recurring lung infection which doctor say Mandela developed while on Robben Island kept the eldest statesman in and out of hospital and in the minds of South Africans.

NDILEKA MANDELA, GRANDDAUGHTER: His fighting spirit, for me, is one thing that amazes me. And I don't know what keeps him fighting and he's just stoic and he's determined that I will end things my way.

CURNOW: As his health deteriorated his family battled to keep details of his condition private.

MAKAZIWE MANDELA, DAUGHTER: He's our dad. It is our dad, Nelson Mandela's blood runs through this vein, give us the space to be with our father. Whether these are the last moments for us to be with my dad, all this still are longer but they must back off.

CURNOW: They were world's media but he was Nelson Mandela. And in his final months, as the public held vigil, he remained resilient fighting until the end.


CURNOW: The village of Quno in the Eastern Cape, a deeply traditional and rural area or South Africa. It was here in 1918 that a boy named Rolihlahla was born. The name means troublemaker in his home language of Xhosa.

As a custom at the time, a school teacher gave him the English name Nelson. He would also come to be known affectionately is Madiba, a clan name.


MANDELA: My old man, (inaudible) could not afford to buy me clothing for school). So he gave me his shirt which was so long it reached out to my ankle.


CURNOW: It was the experience of dispossession and poverty here that fuels Nelson Mandela's lifelong desire to oppose white supremacy and bring freedom to his people.

Among these hills, the young man also experienced African democracy firsthand. He listened to counsels of elders and tribal chiefs debating issues for hours until they reached consensus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His sense of hierarchy. His sense of discipline. His sense of respect. His sense of sharing. His sense of humility. All of that comes as a traditional value systems that he comes with from home.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Traditional leader Phatheklie Holomisa says this vital lesson influenced Mandela years later as President when he helped shape South Africa's modern democracy and reconcile black and white South Africans.


PHATHLEKLIE HOLOMISA, TRADITIONAL LEADER: He's treasured both well the African and the Western. The balancing act that has been worked upon through Mandela's leadership to ensure that we're a prosperous and peaceful and free country.


CURNOW: And so it is here in Quno that Nelson Mandela will be laid to rest.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hey (inaudible). How are you?


CURNOW: Inside Mandela's home, his family shared stories of a man who savored life's simple pleasures.


MBUSO MANDELA, GRANDSON: The one time I was sitting, he -- I just got here and it was a -- it had been raining. So -- and he's looking outside and I'm sitting there quiet, I'm on my phone, he says, "You know what, Mbuso? When I was young, I used to run outside naked in the rain. I think you should go and do that now." I started laughing. I started laughing.


CURNOW: From rural roots to a leader of a movement, to the father of a nation.

His enduring legacy lives on.


LA GRANGE: If you take Nelson Mandela's life and you study his values, his morals, the great discipline that brought about so much you speak. Everyone can find the Mandela within themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he sacrificed a lot for his country. He you sacrificed a lot not only for black people or white people but for everybody.

MICHELLE OBAMA: The one thing I told him, you know, I wanted to make sure he understood how important his leadership and sacrifice has been to who I've become, to who my husband has become. And in short I just said thank you. It's really hard to know what to say to such an icon.

TONY BLAIR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: In terms of the struggle for freedom and justice and equality in the world which people are treated equally irrespective of race or color, he's probably the most inspirational figure of the 20th Century.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nelson Mandela just -- he brought the change there. He opened up doors for us which would never have been possible if he was not who he was.

RAMAPHOSA: I said to him, "Did you ever lose hope in the 27 years that you were in prison? Was there ever a moment when you felt low?" He said, "No. I had no time for that. I was confident from the time I walked into prison that we would be free. I was confident that I would walk out of prison a free man and into a free South Africa."

CLINTON: I saw in him something that I try not to lose in myself which is no matter how much responsibility you had, you remember that he was a person first. And then I learned a lot about living from him about living with adversities, living with setbacks, living with disappointments and living without anger.

So part apart from all the magnificent contributions he made to free his country and to inspire the world, I learned a lot about life from him.

DE KLERK: He preached, "We all need each other." He was inclusive in his thinking about all South Africans. That I think will be his biggest legacy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He looks into the future and just took us all there. He just got all of us on board which I think was really what really amazes me today.

GOODLUCK JONATHAN, NIGERIAN PRESIDENT: What I personally would remember Mandela for is for his ability to bring the country together.

WINFREY: The deepest legacy will be every life that was touched and changed and every heart that was opened from the experience of his life here on earth, that's his legacy, that's yours, that's mine. It's how you lived and who you touched and what it meant. That's what your legacy is.

MANDELA: There are many men and women from different political affiliations who have contributed to this struggle, I am one of those. I would like to be remembered not as anybody unique or special but as part of a great team in this country.