Former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, 95, has died peacefully at home in Johannesburg this evening.
South Africa’s first black president had been suffering with a long term illness for six months, and had since been recovering at home after being discharged from hospital in September this year.
Current president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, said during a press conference: “[Mr Mandela] died peacefully surrounded by his family.
“Our nation has lost its greatest son, our people have lost their father. Although we knew this day would come, nothing will diminish our sense of loss.”
Born in 1981 in Eastern Cape, he originally trained as a lawyer, but later became an anti-apartheid hero for black South Africans who were oppressed. In 1943, he joined the African National Congress (ANC), the Republic of South Africa’s governing political party.
However, the ANC was banned in 1960, and he was charged sabotage in 1964 with a sentence of life imprisonment.
Mr Mandela remained at Robben Island Prison for 27 years, and was released in 1990. He went on to be elected as the President of South Africa in 1994, but later stepped down in 1999. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
President Zuma said that Mr Mandela will be remembered for his ‘humility and compassion’.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “A great light has gone out.”
US President Obama said: “He achieved more than can be expected of any man. We have lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings.”