Nelson Mandela Dies, aged 95

by Developed Africa 6. December 2013 09:00

Yesterday evening, just before 10 o'clock (GMT) the sad news of Nelson Mandela's death was announced to the world.

An inspiration to many, the man who is renowned for leading South Africa out of apartheid, will be remembered as a symbol of peace and hope to people the world over. The former South African President had been reported as being in a critical but stable position for some time since his release from hospital earlier this summer, and passed away peacefully last night.

The announcement came from the current President Jacob Zuma, who spoke with great sorrow:

Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together, and it is together that we will bid him farewell"

Mandela began his strive for freedom young, joining the African National Congress in 1943, going on to become President of the ANCYL (Youth League) and subsequently President of the Transvaal ANC. However his actions against racism and for equality and peace led to his imprisonment of 27 years from 1964 to 1990. 

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in leading the negotiations that brought the end of apartheid. As The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu said last night:

He transcended race and class in his personal actions, through his warmth and through his willingness to listen and to empathise with others. And he restored others' faith in Africa and Africans."

There will be much sorrow and mourning in the weeks to come, for more in-depth accounts of Mandela's life, look to:

The Guardian, with an interactive timeline

For Jacob Zuma's full speech go to ABC

For live reactions and news on his death, go to the BBC News

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