Follow Christiane on social media:

On Twitter + Facebook + Instagram Amanpour producers on Twitter

What time is Amanpour on CNN?

Check showtimes to see when Amanpour is on CNN where you are. Or watch online.

Check showtimes to see when Amanpour is on CNN where you are. Or watch online.

American ambassador in South Africa describes his teenage fight against apartheid

December 9th, 2013
04:23 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The anti-apartheid movement was not just a South African struggle.

For the U.S. ambassador in South Africa, Patrick Gaspard, the anti-apartheid struggle he was involved in as a teenager felt like “Sisyphus pushing that rock up the hill,” he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

“It wasn’t clear whether our actions would really make a difference,” he told Amanpour in Johannesburg.

Americans joined activists the world over in pushing their countries to levy sanctions on the apartheid government in South Africa.

U.S. President Ronald Reagan was against those sanctions, even using his veto at one point to block them.

“We you’re a kid, when you’re a teenager, and the president of the United States is saying this is the way we ought to go, it’s hard to be clear that you could be successful,” Gaspard said.

Gaspard said that he himself cut school in order to attend a demonstration – teasing that he hoped his mother wasn’t watching the broadcast lest she find out.

“It taught many of us that collective action mattered, and being an engaged part of our democracy really was impactful as well.”

And that impact, he said, was large indeed.

“Nelson Mandela himself not only said that the sanctions were critical, but even once he was released he asked the United States and other governments to continue to maintain the sanctions because he thought they gave him real leverage in the negotiations.”

The apartheid regime, he said, “understood that they were in a ditch” if they didn’t change their ways.

Thirty years after he attended his first anti-apartheid protest Gaspard is an American ambassador. And the country he now lives in is trying to find its way forward, after nearly two decades of rule by the African National Congress.

“Clearly while the ANC is the dominant party in this country, there are other voices that are asking lots of questions and making alternate proposals about the future of this country.”

“It’s a debate that I’m looking forward to continue to engage in,” he said diplomatically.

On Tuesday, world leaders are set to gather in South Africa to celebrate Nelson Mandela.

“People are out there not in a somber mood but in a celebratory mood,” he said.

“They are out there saying this man did incredible things and together we’re going to continue to carry forth that legacy. You’re going to see hundreds of thousands of people in that spirited exuberance.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • South Korea
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. ashok

    Margaret Thatcher brought necessary change to Britain but, on apartheid, she was on the wrong side of history.

    December 10, 2013 at 6:40 am | Reply
  2. Lester Rainwater

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    March 4, 2021 at 10:01 am | Reply
  3. Jessie Mccallen

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

    http://lostbiro.com/blog/?paged=28

    May 10, 2021 at 11:53 pm | Reply
  4. Bernard Calaway

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusuf-hanafy-82493b183

    May 12, 2021 at 3:50 am | Reply
  5. Gricelda Trotter

    I don't know about you people but I infatuated with airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/08/hanging-out-at-oshkosh-2010-with-southwest-airlines/

    http://www.doc-txt.com/Boeing-Everett-Museum.pdf

    May 16, 2021 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  6. Mae Mavai

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life websites and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2014/08/farewell-to-jack-shallcrass-splendid.html?showComment=1450408178768

    May 17, 2021 at 7:42 am | Reply
  7. Jesus Brosig

    I don't know about you guys but I infatuated with airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2011/04/government-adds-new-rules-to-airlines-the-winners-and-losers/

    http://www.washingtonbids.us/washington-contractors/naics-712110-Museums.htm

    May 18, 2021 at 2:45 am | Reply
  8. Columbus Graen

    I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2009/11/livery-of-the-week-albanian-airlines/

    http://prlog.ru/analysis/futureofflightfoundation.org

    May 19, 2021 at 4:33 am | Reply
  9. Lissa Cribbin

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

    http://adolit.blogspot.com/2007/02/photo-essay.html

    May 20, 2021 at 3:33 am | Reply
  10. Eric Fefer

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life websites and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2007_09_01_archive.html

    May 20, 2021 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  11. Benito Krumbein

    I don't know about you all but I love airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loves airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/01/man-hides-in-air-india-lavatory-to-make-it-home/

    http://www.washingtonbids.us/washington-contractors/naics-712110-Museums.htm

    May 22, 2021 at 2:19 am | Reply
  12. Willie Kundrick

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl authors and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2006/02/romance-aint-dead.html?m=0

    May 23, 2021 at 4:13 am | Reply
  13. Brittanie Hardyman

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life articles and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2007/07/unruliness.html?m=0

    May 28, 2021 at 4:57 am | Reply
  14. Usha Opiola

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life websites and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2013/08/your-books-are-reading-you.html?m=0

    May 29, 2021 at 5:30 am | Reply
  15. Charles Staehler

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2014/08/farewell-to-jack-shallcrass-splendid.html?showComment=1534686799157

    May 30, 2021 at 6:19 am | Reply
  16. Millard Cancro

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs

    http://edugamesresearch.com/blog/category/npr/feed/

    May 31, 2021 at 5:02 am | Reply
  17. Hayden Colicchio

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life websites and blogs

    http://myvedana.blogspot.com/2008/02/friending-and-orality.html?m=0

    June 2, 2021 at 11:35 pm | Reply
  18. Emmanuel Maronge

    This was awesome! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusufhanafy

    June 4, 2021 at 9:09 am | Reply
  19. Ivan Mohammad

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusufhanafy

    June 5, 2021 at 3:44 am | Reply
  20. Gaye Grygiel

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusufhanafy

    June 9, 2021 at 6:37 am | Reply
  21. Kristin Ratner

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life authors and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2014/09/looking-for-job-in-inclusive-elementary.html?showComment=1452858475271

    June 12, 2021 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  22. Rudy Peckman

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs

    http://everydayliteracies.blogspot.com/2004/11/reading-visual-images-were_110020936638690834.html

    June 15, 2021 at 8:43 am | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.