Nelson Mandela dies aged 95
10:58pm Thursday 5th December 2013 in News
TRIBUTES have been paid from across the globe to former South African leader Nelson Mandela, who has died aged 95.
The country's president, Jacob Zuma, announced the news in a televised address.
He 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. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves."
Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted his condolences, adding: "A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time. I've asked for the flag at No10 to be flown at half mast."
Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "The world has lost the global hero of our age. NelsonMandela showed us the true meaning of courage, hope, and reconciliation."
Mr Zuma said all of South Africa's thoughts were with Mr Mandela's family, friends and those who fought alongside him during his struggle for equality.
South African flags will be lowered to half mast from tomorrow until Mr Mandela's funeral.
Political leaders from across the world, along with celebrities and those who had campaigned with Mr Mandela have spoken of their sadness at Mr Mandela's death.
US president Barack Obama said the world has lost an influential, courageous and "profoundly good" man.
Mr Obama said Mandela "no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages."
UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said Nelson Mandela was "a giant for justice" whose "selfless struggle for human dignity, equality and freedom" inspired many people around the world.
"No one did more in our time to advance the values and aspirations of the United Nations," he said.
Mr Mandela was the country's first black president and is known throughout the world for his anti-apartheid stance and led the nation's transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s, after 27 years in prison.
The statesman had been receiving medical care for a lung infection at his home, where hundreds of reporters tonight gathered ahead of rumours of his ill-health and where he was staying following a three-month hospital stay.
Since his hospital release, the South African presidency described Mr Mandela's condition as critical but stable, although rumours were this week circulated that he was on his death bed.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was elected South Africa's first black president in 1994.
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