South Africa’s Tata Madiba has died
President Jacob Zuma announced on Thursday night at 11:45pm that former president Nelson Mandela passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family at 20:50pm. Madiba, once the world's most famous political prisoner, emerged from a 27-year jail term in 1990 to lead South Africa from apartheid to democracy.President Jacob Zuma announced his death on the public broadcaster just before midnight.
Zuma said Mandela will receive a state funeral and from today all South African flags will fly at half-mast.
The death of South Africa's liberation leader Nelson Mandela has unleashed a heartfelt chorus of awed respect from across the worlds of politics, religion, sport and culture. Statesmen, resistance leaders, Nobel laureates and prisoners of conscience have died before, but never has one man united such global unity in honoring his passing. Foreshadowing the guest list of what will surely be the most important funeral of recent decades, world leaders queued up to issue solemn tributes to the 95-year-old anti-apartheid hero who became South Africa's first democratic president. Over and over, leaders returned to the dignity Mandela displayed during his long imprisonment by South Africa's former racist regime and then later, when he led his country to majority rule. Obama ordered US flags at the White House and other public buildings flown at half-mast until Monday, in a rare tribute to a foreign leader. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared Mandela a "giant for justice." British Prime Minister David Cameron, who in 2006 apologized for what he said were the "mistakes" of his Conservative Party in its response to apartheid in Britain's former colony, was also moved.