In a televised address broadcast as the Mail was going to press, South African president Jacob 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. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.’ Mr Mandela passed away at home after a long battle against illness. He was 95.
Mr Zuma said the former president would be accorded a State funeral and flags throughout South Africa would fly at half-mast until it was over.
Mr Mandela’s efforts to heal his country after its long history of division made him one of the world’s most loved leaders, viewed by millions of Africans as a secular saint. He was known in South Africa as ‘Madiba’, his clan name, which means ‘grandfather’.
David Cameron said: ‘A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time. I have asked for the flag at No 10 to be flown at half-mast.’
His death came as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the London premiere of the Mandela biopic Long Walk To Freedom.
South Africa's president Jacob Zuma announced the long-expected death in a special television broadcast last night.
Mr Zuma said: 'Our nation has lost its greatest son.'
'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.'
The White House said tonight that the president is expected to travel to South Africa for Mandela's state funeral along with other world leaders.
'He achieved more than could be expected for any man and today he's gone home,’ Obama said at a news conference. 'Madiba transformed South Africa and moved all of us- his journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that humans can transform for the better.'
Mr Obama visited South Africa in June and met with the former president's family but did not personally meet with the ailing leader because his health was so poor at the time.
He said that the very first political action in his life, let alone his career, was his participation in an anti-apartheid rally held in Mandela's honor.
'We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again, so it falls to us' to live by his example and 'make decisions not by hate but by love,' Mr Obama said in the press conference.
He said that the thoughts and prayers of the first family and the American people were with Mr Mandela's family.
'His life's work meant long days away from those who loved him most,' saying that he hoped they were able to value the last few months together.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron led the tributes to Mandela in that country.
Cameron tweeted that the flag at No 10 Downing Street would be flown at half-mast.
'A great light has gone out in the world,' Cameron said. 'Nelson Mandela was a hero of out time.
Although increasingly frail, Mandela had been in an out of the hospital over the past five years, he was last rushed to hospital on June 8th this year.
He was initially treated for a lung infection, but with three weeks his condition, it was announced, had turned 'critical'. The South African government has never disclosed the full extent of his illness, but reputable news sources revealed that his liver and kidneys were functioning at just 50 percent. South African media reported that he was on ventilation and undergoing regular renal dialysis. Nelson Mandela was one of the world's most admired and beloved political leaders, an icon of the redemptive power of reconciliation.
|OUR DAD MANDELA ENZI ZAKE'' THANK YOU ''|
While some looked sombre and quietly said prayers following Mandela's passing, others celebrated his achievements in a loud show of patriotism and pride.
Crowds, made up of all creeds, races and religions, sang loudly together, danced and waved candles just yards from where the former president died.
Many chanted 'it's in our hands now', referring to the legacy that Mandela has left and that many of the crowd now feel is their responsibility to continue.
Hundreds of people waved South Africa flags, embraced, clapped and chanted Mr Mandela's name as they remembered their first democratically elected president.
'I STUDIED HIS WORDS AND WRITINGS': PRESIDENT OBAMA EXPRESSES GRATITUDE TO MANDELA AS HE PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE LATE LEADER
OBAMA'S ENTIRE SPEECH AS FOLLOWS...
At his trial in 1964, Nelson Mandela closed his statement from the dock saying: “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
And Nelson Mandela lived for that ideal, and he made it real. He achieved more than could be expected of any man. Today, he has gone home. And we have 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.
Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, Madiba transformed South Africa – and moved all of us. His journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings – and countries – can change for the better.
His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to, whether in the lives of nations or our own personal lives. And the fact that he did it all with grace and good humour, and an ability to acknowledge his own imperfections, only makes the man that much more remarkable. As he once said, “I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”
I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s life. My very first political action, the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics, was a protest against apartheid. I studied his words and his writings. The day that he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they’re guided by their hopes and not by their fears. And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him.
To Graca Machel and his family, Michelle and I extend our deepest sympathy and gratitude for sharing this extraordinary man with us. His life’s work meant long days away from those who loved him the most. And I only hope that the time spent with him these last few weeks brought peace and comfort to his family.
To the people of South Africa, we draw strength from the example of renewal, and reconciliation, and resilience that you made real. A free South Africa at peace with itself – that’s an example to the world, and that’s Madiba’s legacy to the nation he loved.
We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. So it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set: to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love; to never discount the difference that one person can make; to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.
For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived – a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice. May God bless his memory and keep him in peace.
PARTING WORDS TO AN HISTORIC LEADER: SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA'S GOODBYE SPEECH TO NELSON MANDELA
'My fellow South Africans, our beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding president of our democratic nation has departed.
'He passed on peacefully in the company of his family around 20.50 on December 5 2013.
'He is now resting. He is now at peace.
'Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father.
'Although we knew that this day would 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, his compassion, and his humanity earned him their love. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mandela family. To them we owe a debt of gratitude.
'They have sacrificed much and endured much so that our people could be free.
'Our thoughts are with his wife Mrs Graca Machel, his former wife Ms Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, with his children, his grandchildren, his great grandchildren and the entire family.
'Our thoughts are with his friends, comrades and colleagues who fought alongside Madiba over the course of a lifetime of struggle.
'Our thoughts are with the South African people who today mourn the loss of the one person who, more than any other, came to embody their sense of a common nationhood.
'Our thoughts are with the millions of people across the world who embraced Madiba as their own, and who saw his cause as their cause.
'This is the moment of our deepest sorrow.
'Our nation has lost its greatest son.
'Yet, what made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.
'And in him we saw so much of ourselves.
'Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together, and it is together that we will bid him farewell.
'Our beloved Madiba will be accorded a state funeral.
'I have ordered that all flags of the Republic of South Africa be lowered to half-mast from tomorrow, December 6, and to remain at half-mast until after the funeral.
'As we gather to pay our last respects, let us conduct ourselves with the dignity and respect that Madiba personified.
'Let us be mindful of his wishes and the wishes of his family.
'As we gather, wherever we are in the country and wherever we are in the world, let us recall the values for which Madiba fought.
'Let us reaffirm his vision of a society in which none is exploited, oppressed or dispossessed by another.
'Let us commit ourselves to strive together - sparing neither strength nor courage - to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.
'Let us express, each in our own way, the deep gratitude we feel for a life spent in service of the people of this country and in the cause of humanity.
'This is indeed the moment of our deepest sorrow.
'Yet it must also be the moment of our greatest determination.
'A determination to live as Madiba has lived, to strive as Madiba has strived and to not rest until we have realised his vision of a truly united South Africa, a peaceful and prosperous Africa, and a better world.
'We will always love you, Madiba!
'May your soul rest in peace.
'God Bless Africa.
'Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika.'
Speaking from the Odeon cinema, Prince William said: 'I just wanted to say it's extremely sad and tragic news.
'We were just reminded what an extraordinary and inspiring man Nelson Mandela was. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. It's very sad.'
It was not clear what had happened to Mandela's daughter, including Zindzi, who appeared jovial and relaxed walking the red carpet before the premiere but seemed overcome when she got inside.
His critical role in both achieving full democracy in South Africa and then keeping the peace when it arrived in 1994 earned him a Nobel Peace Prize.
But it was the magnanimity he showed his former oppressors - coupled with an intense personal charm - that has earned him admirers all over the globe.
A huge state funeral, attended by most world leaders, is expected to be held in the coming days.
Having served just one term as president of South Africa, Mr Mandela retired from public life in 2004 and has only rarely been glimpsed in public since then.
As well as receiving treatment for prostate cancer, stomach pain and problems with his eyes, Mandela's most persistent medical problems have been respiratory.
He damaged his lungs and contracted tuberculosis while digging in a lime quarry during the 18 years he spent imprisoned on the notorious Robben Island, outside Cape Town.
He has been admitted to hospital numerous times over past decade - and five times since December last year.
He underwent treatment for, among other things, a respiratory disorder, a 'long-standing abdominal complaint', gallstones and, in April this year, for the removal of fluid from his lungs.
Jacob Zuma's decision, last April, to allow himself to be filmed standing next to an unsmiling, expressionless Mandela in hospital drew much adverse comment, including from Mandela's family.
The ANC's main political opposition, the Democratic Alliance, has also been accused of trying to 'hijack' his legacy by highlighting its historical connection to the man most South African refer to by his clan name Madiba.
He spent the next 27 years behind bars, 18 of them on the notorious Robben Island, near Cape Town.
The film documenting parts of this struggle, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, stars Idris Elba as Mandela and Naomie Harris as his former wife Winnie.
In recent years various family members and friends have argued about how best to maintain his legacy. The disputes are now likely to worsen.
His marriage to Winnie had fallen apart after his release and he was now married to Graca Machel, the widowed former first lady of neighboring Mozambique.
He is survived by Machel; his daughter Makaziwe by his first marriage, and daughters Zindzi and Zenani by his second.
While some political commentators have expressed a fear that Mandela's death could destabilise South Africa by re-opening racial wounds, most South Africans are well used to the idea of his passing.
NELSON MANDELA: THE ANTI-APARTHEID FIGHTER WHO WENT TO PRISON FOR THE CAUSE
1962 After living on the run for seventeen months he is arrested on August 5 and imprisoned in the Johannesburg Fort. On October 25 he is sentenced to five years in prison but again goes on the run
1964 On June 12 Mandela is captured and convicted of sabotage and treason. He is sentenced to life imprisonment at the age of 46, initially on Robben island where he would be kept for 18 years
1968 His mother dies and his eldest son is killed in a car crash but he is not allowed to attend either of the funerals
1980 The exiled Oliver Tambo launches an international campaign for the release of his friend
1986 Sanctions against South Africa are tightened, costing millions in revenue
1990 On February 11, Nelson Mandela is released from prison after 27 years. He had served the last part of his sentence in Victor Verster Prison in Paarl.
President De Klerk lifts the ban on the African National Congress (ANC). The ANC and the white National Party begin talks on forming a multi-racial democracy for South Africa.
1991 Mandela becomes President of the ANC. The International Olympic Committee lift a 21-year ban on South African athletes competing in the Olympic Games.
1992 He separates from Winnie Mandela after she is convicted of kidnapping and being an accessory to assault. The following March they divorce.
1993 Nelson Mandela and Mr de Klerk are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
1994 April 26 Free Elections where black South Africans are allowed to vote for the first time. Nelson Mandela runs for President and the ANC win 252 of the 400 seats in the national assembly
May Mandela is inaugurated as the first black president of South Africa. He appoints de Klerk as deputy president and forms the racially mixed Government of National Unity.
1995 South Africa hosts the 1995 Rugby World Cup and South Africa wins. Nelson Mandela wears a Springbok shirt when he presents the trophy to Afrikaner captain Francois Pienaar. This gesture was seen as a major step in the reconciliation of white and black South Africans.
1998 Marries Graca Machel, the widow of the former president of Mozambique, on his 80th birthday.
1999 Relinquishes presidency in favour of Thabo Mbeki, who was nominated ANC president in 1997.
2001 Nelson Mandela was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer
2004 June: Nelson Mandela announced that he would be retiring from public life at the age of 85
2005 His son, Makgatho Mandela died of AIDS
2010 Mandela makes a rare public appearance at the football World Cup in South Africa
2012 An increasingly frail Mandela is admitted to hospital twice in February and December
Indeed, most serious political analysts in the country recognise that Mr Mandela's death is unlikely to create a political shockwave.
More significant, they say, may be the fact that without Mandela's immense moral authority, the ruling ANC party may be more vulnerable to charges of corruption and incompetence.
Mandela, who is generally considered to be 'the father' of modern South Africa, has said that his greatest regret has been his failure to have raised his own children.
He married three times. Two wives remain alive: his ex wife Winnie and Graca Machel. He has three remaining children, another four step children, 17 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
He was born into African aristocracy, a descendant of kings of the Thembu people, in Transkeiin 1918.
His father had four wives, among whom his mother ranked third.
He was the first of his family to attend school, and it was his teacher who gave him the English name Nelson in place of his given name, Rolihlahla.
At 19, he attended Fort Hare University, where he soon became involved in student politics - or rather, in organising a boycott of them.
Rejecting a marriage arranged for him by his tribal elders, he became briefly a mine guard, then was articled to a Johannesburg law firm.
He began living in the Alexandra black township, and started law studies at Witwatersrand University, where he met fellow students and future political activists Ruth First, Joe Slovo and Harry Schwarz.
In the early 1950s, Mandela became deeply involved in radical resistance to apartheid, while he and fellow-activist Oliver Tambo ran a law firm, offering cheap advice to township residents.
Mandela was initially an admirer of India’s Mahatma Gandhi, committed to non-violent resistance. Yet in 1956, he and 150 others were arrested and charged with treason.
QUOTES FROM A GREAT MAN: UNFORGETTABLE WORDS SPOKEN BY NELSON MANDELA THAT HELPED TO SHAPE THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD
‘MSOMENI HAPA''YANI MANENO YAKUKULIZA NA KUKUFUNZA KUKUFUNDA NA UFUNDIKE'' NAKUBALIANA NA OUR GREATEST DAD HERE'' DON'T HATE 'LOVE''
What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.’
‘If people can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite’.
‘I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear’.
‘Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another’.
‘The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.’
‘Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.’
‘If I had my time over I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man.’
‘There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.’
‘It always seems impossible until it is done.’
‘It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.’
‘For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.’
TUMECHOTA NA KUMIMINA KUTOKA DM'' THE BEST UK GAZETI EVER!!