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Nelson Mandela dies at 95

5 December 2013 11:44 pm - 26     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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South Africa's first black president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela has died, South Africa's president says. Mr Mandela, 95, led South Africa's transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s, after 27 years in prison.

He had been receiving intense home-based medical care for a lung infection after three months in hospital.

n a statement on South African national TV, Jacob Zuma said Mr Mandela had "departed" and was at peace.

"Our nation has lost its greatest son," Mr Zuma said.

He said Mr Mandela would receive a full state funeral, and flags would be flown at half-mast.

BBC correspondents say Mr Mandela's body will be moved to a mortuary in Pretoria, and the funeral is likely to take place next Saturday.

A crowd has gathered outside the house where Mr Mandela died. Some are flying South African flags and wearing the shirts of the governing African National Congress, which Mr Mandela once led.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was one of the world's most revered statesmen after preaching reconciliation despite being imprisoned for 27 years.

He had rarely been seen in public since officially retiring in 2004. He made his last public appearance in 2010, at the football World Cup in South Africa.

His fellow campaigner against apartheid, Archbishop Desmond Tutu said he was not only an amazing gift to humankind, he made South Africans and Africans feel good about being who we are. He made us walk tall. God be praised."

What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves," Mr Zuma said.

"Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell."

Tributes have come in from around the world. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was "a giant for justice and a down-to-earth human inspiration".

"Many around the world were greatly influenced by his selfless struggle for human dignity, equality and freedom. He touched our lives in deeply personal ways."

US President Barack Obama said Mr Mandela achieved more than could be expected of any man.

"He no longer belongs to us - he belongs to the ages," Mr Obama said, saying Mr Mandela "took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice".

Mr Obama, the first black president of the United States, said he was one of the millions who drew inspiration from Mr Mandela's life.

FW de Klerk, who as South Africa's last white president ordered Mr Mandela's release, called him a "unifier" and said he had "a remarkable lack of bitterness".

He told the BBC: "I think his greatest legacy... is that we are basically at peace with each other notwithstanding our great diversity, that we will be taking hands once again now around his death and around our common sadness and mourning."

UK Prime Minister David Cameron also paid tribute, saying "a great light has gone out in the world".

Earlier this year, Mr Mandela spent nearly three months in hospital with a recurring lung infection.

He was moved to his home in the Houghton suburb of Johannesburg in September, where he continued to receive intensive care. (Source: BBC)
1918 Born in the Eastern Cape
1943 Joined African National Congress
1956 Charged with high treason, but charges dropped after a four-year trial
1962 Arrested, convicted of incitement and leaving country without a passport, sentenced to five years in prison
1964 Charged with sabotage, sentenced to life
1990 Freed from prison
1993 Wins Nobel Peace Prize
1994 Elected first black president
1999 Steps down as leader
2001 Diagnosed with prostate cancer
2004 Retires from public life
2005 Announces his son has died of an HIV/Aids-related illness
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  Comments - 26

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  • Aja Friday, 06 December 2013 11:05 AM

    Great Man ..RIP

    GG Bush Friday, 06 December 2013 05:53 AM

    Madiba said, 'There wont be peace in the world unless there is peace in Palestine'

    Kanchane Athauda Saturday, 07 December 2013 06:52 AM

    why the north specially? are they some other kind to you?

    lankan Friday, 06 December 2013 03:17 AM

    i love mendela

    The God Father Friday, 06 December 2013 03:27 AM

    Do legends die? Hope our leaders learn from this Gentleman.

    Fayad Friday, 06 December 2013 03:29 AM

    One of the greatest leader the world have seen. after spending 27 years in jail, never wanted take revenge but united South Africa under one flag.
    RIP -TATA

    mollamaari Saturday, 07 December 2013 08:53 AM

    Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, but these names will never die!!!! RIP!!

    senthil Friday, 06 December 2013 03:35 AM

    We have lost a great human being R.I.P madiba

    Kanchane Athauda Friday, 06 December 2013 03:38 AM

    Nelson is outstanding because of his outstanding qualities. White people have kept him in prison almost a lifetime. But when he was freed and became the most powerful person in South Africa, he didn't chase after revenge even when his supporters wanted it. He was the ultimate forgiver on earth.
    He could be in power up to his death easily. He was that popular. But he has put his country in the correct way in a short period of just 4 1/2 years and stepped down. Can you believe that? He is unbelievable. Because he is unbelievable, he is always remembered and always will be as the greatest politician the world has ever seen.
    TODAY I PROUDLY WEEP FOR THIS GREAT MAN ON HIS DEPARTURE.
    BYE NELSON!
    YOU'VE DONE GREAT1

    Ravindra Friday, 06 December 2013 03:53 AM

    Bye bye true hero!

    Raj Friday, 06 December 2013 03:59 AM

    “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” —Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela`

    Sir, Can you please born again to a Sri Lankan Mother? we need real statesman like your caliber

    Fayad Friday, 06 December 2013 04:03 AM

    We have to learn reconciliation from Nelson Mandela he never wanted vengeance which inspired the world & united South Africa
    RIP - Tata

    saman Friday, 06 December 2013 04:03 AM

    Even David Cameron has something to say.

    Lucky Weeramantry Friday, 06 December 2013 04:15 AM

    God Bless Mandela, Rest In Peace

    MHAW Friday, 06 December 2013 04:16 AM

    R.I.P you have been such an inspiration to many people, a brilliant leader. A very wise man who united everyone.

    lionheart Friday, 06 December 2013 04:17 AM

    Much unlike the self styled Diaspora who are looking for revenge and spread of hatred at every turn.....

    merc Saturday, 07 December 2013 12:03 PM

    RIP SIR He drew inspiraion from the holy prophet muhammed

    kan Friday, 06 December 2013 04:37 AM

    A great leader never to be born again. R.I.P.

    Nimal Perera Friday, 06 December 2013 08:33 AM

    Undoubtedly he was a great hero... Kanchane hats for your valuable comment...intact when I heard this sad news it wet my eyes....

    Marie Friday, 06 December 2013 04:45 AM

    The world is today a better place because of You. Rest in Peace, Dear Sir.

    Mother Lanka Friday, 06 December 2013 09:06 AM

    You are simply a great leader and a wonderful human being. RIP Sir!

    Kandy Boy Friday, 06 December 2013 09:25 AM

    He was hated man by British Later he became a Loved & admired person. Then British erected a statue while living . We need a leader like that to see people of north erecting a statue of him.
    Mandela showed what is leadership. Never ever discredited or harmed his enemy he took his country forward with them (Lord Buddha's way but he is was not a Buddhist).

    Samitha Silva Friday, 06 December 2013 05:22 AM

    True humble Leader we have seen in our time. God Bless dear leader. R.I.P.

    xlntgson Sunday, 08 December 2013 02:13 PM

    What a great life of success, failure and success!

    Rasa Friday, 06 December 2013 10:25 AM

    Loss of a great guy.Should have lived a few more years watching the world

    007 Friday, 06 December 2013 05:33 AM

    Wish Sri Lanka was blessed with a Mandela..........


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