Off the Record

Greta: Nelson Mandela - A great man of the world, the real deal, who changed us all

'Off the Record', 12/5/13: Nelson Mandela changed South Africa, the world and all of us with his personal dignity and courage

 

By Greta Van Susteren

Let's go "Off the Record" for just a minute. It's sad, isn't it? Two hours ago we were all talking and thinking about something else and then suddenly the breaking news, the news of President Mandela's death. This is one of those rare moments in history when everything just suddenly seems to stop.

Tonight, the world is gripped in sadness - a great man has died. Not just a great man of South Africa - he is a great man of the world. He was the real deal. There aren't many of those. He set personal standards of dignity that the rest of us can only dream of achieving.

Think about it, he was in prison for 27 years. Upon his release, he wasn't bitter, he was not blaming. Instead, with his great moral courage, he stood up, he inspired the people of the world, and he led the people of South Africa out of their legacy of apartheid. He changed South Africa; he changed us. His moral courage was, well, it was awesome.

We all know the moment of his death was inevitable. It's still hard to believe. You always hope the great ones are going to live forever. And that's my "Off the Record" comment tonight.