Africa’s Legend, Nelson Mandela Is Dead
He died of lung cancer after series of illnesses, the last of which he has been receiving intense home-based medical care for the last three months in a South African hospital.
In a statement on South African national TV, Mr Zuma said Mr Mandela had “departed” and was at peace.
“He is now resting. He is now at peace.”
“Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father.”
“What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human.”
“We saw in him what we seek in ourselves,” “He is now resting. He is now at peace,” Zuma said. “Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father.”
“What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human,” the president said in his late-night address. “We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.”
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.
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.
“What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves,” Mr Zuma said.
You have to thumb back through many decades of history to find another individual whose life was so intimately bound up in the fate and emotions of a nation”
“Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell.”
UK Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to Mr Mandela, saying “a great light has gone out in the world”.
Earlier, the BBC’s Mike Wooldridge, outside Mr Mandela’s home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton, said there appeared to have been an unusually large family gathering.
A number of government vehicles were there during the evening as well, our correspondent says.
Since he was released from hospital, the South African presidency repeatedly described Mr Mandela’s condition as critical but stable.
Born in 1918, Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1943, as a law student.
He and other ANC leaders campaigned against apartheid (white-only rule).
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
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