Thursday, 5 December 2013

World No 1, Africa own Son, South Africa's Nelson Madiba Mandela dies at age 95


South African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela and his then-wife Winnie at their wedding in 1957.PG07 - Mandela with South African rugby team
Nelson MandelaNelson Mandela

1918 Born in the Eastern Cape
1943 Joined African National Congress
1956 Charged with high treason, but charges dropped after a four-year trial
1962 Arrested, convicted of incitement and leaving country without a passport, sentenced to five years in prison
1964 Charged with sabotage, sentenced to life
1990 Freed from prison
1993 Wins Nobel Peace Prize
1994 Elected first black president
1999 Steps down as leader
2001 Diagnosed with prostate cancer
2004 Retires from public life
2005 Announces his son has died of an HIV/Aids-related illness
Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president and the man widely seen as the architect of a peaceful transition to democracy after three centuries of apartheid rule, has died at his home in the Johannesburg suburb of Houghton. He was 95.
Mr Mandela had been receiving home-based intensive care after being discharged from hospital in September. The South African president Jacob Zuma confirmed news of his death in a statement.
Mr Zuma said Mr Mandela had "departed" and was at peace.
He died surrounded by his family at his Johannesburg home at 8.50pm local time.
Mr Mandela, who was 95, will get a state funeral and national flags will be lowered to half mast, said Mr Zuma.
He had been receiving medical treatment for the last three years and for the last six months has been critically ill.
The anti-apartheid icon served as South Africa's first black president from 1994 to 1999, after spending 27 years in the notorious Robben Island prison.
Madiba - as he was affectionately known by many in South Africa - was released in 1990 and went on to guide his country to democracy.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: "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."
US President Barack Obama said Mr Mandela was an "extraordinary man" whose journey from prisoner to president had inspired the world, as well as him personally.
Mandela had a number of issues with his health in recent years including repeated hospitalizations with a chronic lung infection. Mandela had been listed in "serious but stable condition" after entering the hospital in June before returning to home to receive continued medical care.
In April, Mandela spent 18 days in the hospital due to a lung infection and was treated for gall stones in December 2012.
Mandela's public appearances had become increasingly rare as he dealt with his declining health.
His last public appearance was in July of 2010, when he attended the final match and closing ceremonies of the soccer World Cup held in South Africa.Mr Mandela had been battling a lung infection for more than three months and had, according to his daughter, been putting up a "courageous fight."
The anti-apartheid icon led South Africa's transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s, after 27 years in prison.

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