09:22 06 December 2013
South African President Jacob Zuma was the first to announce that Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president and anti-apartheid icon, has died in Johannesburg at the age of 95.
Mr Zuma said: "Our nation has lost its greatest son.”
"Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss."
Mr Mandela, who is affectionately called by his clan name, Madiba, died at roughly 21:00 local time December 5th 2013. He had been receiving intensive medical care at home for a lung infection after spending three months in the hospital.
Mr Zuma confirmed that the iconic former political prisoner will receive a full state funeral and flags would be flown at half-mast.
In a statement, Mr Zuma added: "What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.
"Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell."
Meanwhile, tributes have come in from around the world. US President Barack Obama said Mr Mandela “took history in his hands and bent the art of the moral universe towards justice.”
"A great light has gone out in the world," said British Prime Minister David Cameron. Mandela was "a towering figure in our time; a legend in life and now in death - a true global hero", he said.
Queen Elizabeth II said she was "deeply saddened" by the news.
"He worked tirelessly for the good of his country, and his legacy is the peaceful South Africa we see today," a statement issued by Buckingham Palace said.
"Her Majesty remembers with great warmth her meetings with Mr. Mandela and sends her sincere condolences to his family and the people of South Africa at this very sad time."
Born in the Eastern Cape in 1918, Mandela was famously given a life prison sentence in 1964, finally being released in 1990. Three years later he won the Nobel Prize and penned his bestselling autobiography A Long Walk to Freedom before serving as the nation’s president from 1994.
His inauguration speech contained these words: "We enter into a covenant that we shall build a society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall without any fear in their hearts, assured of the inalienable right to human dignity, a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world."
He retired from public of life in 2004.
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