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Richard Branson

Interview on Mandela

6 Dec, 2013

Branson tells CNN that Mandela’s family and friends can now move on:

I think everybody who knew him well is actually relieved for him and for his family, because he was having a very tough last two years. And now — now he can rest in peace and we can move forward.

Mandela wanted to make a difference and was angry when others didn’t:

So even when he stepped down from being president, and he realized that the new government weren’t addressing the problem of HIV and AIDS properly, he decided to speak out. I remember a wonderful concept, the 46664 concert where he got up on stage and told people in Africa, ‘Look, you’ve got to protect yourself. You’ve got to look after yourself.’ And he told governments, you know, you’ve got to help get anti-viral drugs, you have to save millions of people instead of letting millions of people die.

That led to The Elders:

And almost everything he touched he made the right decisions, and as far as his legacy is concerned, he did set up The Elders. He wanted — he didn’t want his life to be wasted. So he chose the 12 men and women that he felt had the greatest moral authority in the world, who could carry on his good works for many, many years to come (inaudible) that they felt strongly about and could also go in and try to address conflicts in the world. And so people like Archbishop Tutu, Kofi Annan, Mary Robinson, President Carter from America. You know, Lakhdar Brahimi is working on this Syrian crisis and so on. So an extraordinary group of people.