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article imageNelson Mandela dead at 95

By Michael Thomas     Dec 5, 2013 in World
Johannesburg - Nelson Mandela, beloved anti-Apartheid activist and former South African president, has died at 95. He passed away surrounded by friends and family.
South African President Jacob Zuma formally announced Mandela's passing, saying "the founding president of our democratic nation, has departed." He added that he "passed on peacefully."
Mandela will receive a state funeral, and all flags will be lowered to half mast.
"We saw in him what we seek in ourselves. And in him we saw so much of ourselves," Zuma said. "Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell."
Mandela will be remembered for his quiet but passionate speeches in opposition to Apartheid rule in South Africa. He first rose to prominence in the 1952 Defiance Campaign, organized by the African National Congress (ANC), and 10 years later he would be sentenced to life imprisonment.
After spending 27 years behind bars, Mandela was freed in 1990. Four years later, he would be elected as South Africa's first ever black president.
He served in office for five years but will likely remain as South Africa's most beloved leader.
After his retirement from politics, Mandela was known for his continuing charity work. His frail health forced him take it easy as he turned 85, calling it "retiring from retirement."
Earlier this year, Mandela spent several months in hospital with a combination of pneumonia, lung infection and gallstones.
Today, Mandela's household in Johannesburg was surrounded by cars belonging to the military and to well-wishers. Many of Mandela's relatives were seen entering his home, and grandson Ndaba Mandela earlier told a state broadcaster that Mandela was "not doing well and at home in bed."
Mandela's legacy of charity work and activism will likely remain for many years to come. His birthday in South Africa is a public holiday.
The United Nations Security Council observes a minute of silence upon the news of the death of forme...
The United Nations Security Council observes a minute of silence upon the news of the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela, at the U.N. headquarters in New York December 5, 2013
With permission by Reuters / Eskinder Debebe
A woman cries as the United Nations Security Council observes a minute of silence upon the news of t...
A woman cries as the United Nations Security Council observes a minute of silence upon the news of the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela, December 5, 2013
With permission by Reuters / Siphiwe Sibeko
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