South Africa’s first black president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, 95 has died. The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate had been receiving intense home-based medical care for a lung infection after three months in hospital. It’s being reported that he started to reject the antibodies, which ultimately claimed his life.
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Current South African president, Jacob Zuma announced, “He is now resting. He is now at peace,” Zuma said. “Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father.”
CNN is reporting, Mandela will have a state funeral. Zuma ordered all flags in the nation to be flown at half-staff from Friday through that funeral.
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Born on July 18, 1918, in Transkei, South Africa, Mandela became actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement in his 20s, and joined the African National Congress in 1942. For 20 years, he directed a campaign of peaceful, non-violent defiance against the South African government and its racist policies.
Imprisoned for 27 years for encouraging Black South Africans to strike and illegally leaving the country, Mandela served as president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first black South African to hold the office, and the first elected in a fully representative, multiracial election. In 1999 his presidency of South Africa came to an end, and in 2004 announced his retirement from public life, although his charitable work continued. In August 2007, a permanent statue to him was unveiled in Parliament Square, London.
Nelson Mandela made his last public appearance in 2010, at the final match of the World Cup in South Africa. He did, however, visit with Michelle Obama, the first lady and wife of President Barack Obama, during her trip to South Africa in 2011.