Nelson Mandela, the modern father of Africa and icon who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead South Africa out of decades of apartheid, has died, South African President Jacob Zuma announced late Thursday.
Affectionately called Madiba, Mandela’s defiance of white minority rule and incarceration for fighting against segregation focused the world’s attention on apartheid, the legalized racial segregation enforced by the South African government until 1994. Through Mandela’s fight–Mandela became a moral compass and conduit to heal a nation.
Mandela had serious bouts with lung infections over the course of the years–and braved on mightily. He rests at 95.
According to CNN, President Zuma released a statement:
“What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human,” the president said in his late-night address. “We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.”
According to BBC News, UK Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to Mr. Mandela, saying “a great light has gone out in the world”.
In a live statement, President Barack Obama says, “Nelson Mandela has gone home and we’ve lost one of the courageous men on this planet Earth. Michelle and I share our deepest sympathy and ask for the deepest comfort and respect for his family….A free South Africa at peace is an example to this world….We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again, so it falls to us to make his legacy great and strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice. May God bless his memory and maybe rest in peace.”
Please join West Angeles in honoring one of the greatest heroes the world has ever seen. We pay homage to Mandela’s family; offer prayers of comfort for his life and his memory.