Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, and one of the world’s most beloved leaders, has died aged 95.
Mandela, 95, led South Africa out from under apartheid after spending 27 years in prison, and promoted ideas of reconciliation and not retaliation for the future of the country. He became a civil rights hero not just in his native South Africa, but across the world, with US President Obama saying of Mandela back in June:
“He’s a personal hero, but I don’t think I’m unique in that regard. I think he’s a hero for the world.”
His health had been worsening in recent months, and had been receiving home-based medical care for a lung infection.
South African President Zuma announced on national TV that he was now at peace, saying:
“Our nation has lost it’s greatest son. Our people have lost their father,” he added. “Although we knew that this day would come. Nothing can diminish our since of a profound and enduring loss. His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world.”
Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the flag above 10 Downing Street will be flown at half mast out of respect for the great leader, and commented:
“A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time.”