Friday, 6 December 2013

Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid icon and father of modern South Africa dies at 95

Nelson Mandela, who became one of the world’s most beloved statesmen and a colossus of the 20th century when he emerged from 27 years in prison to negotiate an end to white minority rule in South Africa, has died. 

Mr Zuma said "the nation has lost its greatest son", adding "he is now resting. He is now at peace." He died surrounded by his family at his Johannesburg home at 7:50pm Nigerian time. Mr Mandela, who was 95, will get a state funeral and national flags will be lowered to half mast, said Mr Zuma.
"Our people have lost a father," said Mr Zuma.
"Although we knew this day was going to come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss.
"His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world. His humility, passion and humanity, earned him their love."

Mr Mandela had been receiving medical treatment for the last three years for a prolonged lung infection and for the last six months had been critically ill.

Mandela, a former president, battled health issues in recent months, including a recurring lung infection that led to numerous hospitalizations. With advancing age and bouts of illness, Mandela retreated to a quiet life at his boyhood home in the nation's Eastern Cape Province, where he said he was most at peace. He was later moved to his home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton, where he died.

Former South African president, Rolihlahla Mandela, was born on 18 July 1918 in a small village in the Transkei called Mvezo. Later he was sent to school in the small town of Qunu where a teacher gave him the name 'Nelson'.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Tonight one of the brightest lights of our world has gone out. "Nelson Mandela was not just a hero of our time, but a hero of all time." 
"Through his dignity, through his triumph, (he) inspired millions," Mr Cameron added.

US President Barack Obama called Mr Mandela an "extraordinary man" whose journey from prisoner to president had inspired the world, as well as him personally.
"He achieved more than can be expected of any man - and today he's gone home," said President Obama.
"We've lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth."
"He no longer belongs to us - he belongs to the ages."

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