Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela has died today at the age of 95. The news was announced early this evening by the current South African president, Jacob Zuma, who referred to the iconic leader as South Africa’s ‘greatest son.’

“He is now resting. He is now at peace,” Zuma said. “Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father.”

Mandela was the ‘face’ of the anti-apartheid movement in South African and one of the key leaders of the African National Congress (ANC). He was later sentenced to life in prison for his role as a freedom fighter in 1964. After 27 years of imprisonment, Mandela was released on February 11, 1990 and later became the nation’s first Black president in 1994.

Dozens of world leaders have been responding to Mandela’s death including President Barack Obama who held a press conference this evening and recited some of Mandela’s famous speech from his 1964 trial.

“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.”

The President went on to later say:

“Nelson Mandela lived for that ideal and he made it real. He achieved more than can 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.”

According to CNN, Mandela had been battling a myriad of health issues in the recent months including a recurring lung infection that led to numerous hospitalizations.

Reportedly, South Africa will honor Mandela’s life and legacy over the next 10 days as National Days of Mourning.

RC will keep you posted as more news continues to develop.

Photo Credit: diasporadical.com

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