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Nelson Mandela: The Fight for Freedom

David Dimbleby presents a look back at the life of Nelson Mandela, featuring interviews conducted with Mandela in 2003 and contributions from Bill Clinton and Archbishop Tutu.

Nelson Mandela (1918 - 2013) was a freedom fighter, loved and respected around the world.

In his struggle against apartheid, Mandela felt violence was justified. He was considered by the South African government, and many others, to be a terrorist. He was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.

During his 27 years in jail, world leaders, pop stars and the public called for his freedom and an end to apartheid. Finally in 1990, at the age of 72, he was freed.

Forgiving his oppressors, Mandela negotiated with the South African government, and in 1994 the country held its first free election. Twenty-three million people voted and Mandela won by an overwhelming majority, becoming the first black president of a new South Africa.

In his retirement he worked ceaselessly to combat poverty, injustice and HIV.

David Dimbleby presents a look back at Nelson Mandela's life - including interviews Dimbleby conducted with Mandela in 2003. World leaders and well-known artists commenting on Mandela's life include Bill Clinton, Archbishop Tutu, Bob Geldof, Annie Lennox and Lenny Henry.

59 minutes

Last on

Fri 6 Dec 2013 21:00

"You can't paint charisma"

"You can't paint charisma"

BBC Radio 5 live presents tributes to Nelson Mandela, from the only painter Mandela ever sat for, Harold Riley, as well as Jesse Jackson, Peter Hain, and golfer Gary Player.


Browse BBC Radio 5 live's Nelson Mandela clips


Archbishop Desmond Tutu and a group of former Robben Island political prisoners feature in a selection of programmes about Mandela - in his own words and by those that knew him.


Browse BBC Radio 4's Remembering Mandela collection


Role Contributor
Presenter David Dimbleby
Producer Janette Ballard
Producer David Harrison
Producer Jeremy Monblat
Executive Producer Tom Giles
Executive Producer Paul Woolwich


BBC News: Nelson Mandela

BBC News: Nelson Mandela

Full analysis: Tributes, compelling quotes, a life in pictures and a guide to apartheid.