(PCM) Reports earlier today stated that Nelson Mandela, statesman and leader of the South African movement to emerge from decades of apartheid, was on his deathbed, but CNN has now broken the news that Mandela has passed away at the age of 95.
South African President Jacob Zuma announced the news late Thursday. Mandela has been in and out of the hospital in the recent months battling several health conditions including a recurring lung infection. Due to his age and advancing illness, Mandela has made very few public appearances recently and was living quietly in his childhood home in the nations Eastern Cape Province.
Nelson Mandela will be remembered as one of the great leaders and moral compasses in the world as he worked effortlessly to heal the nation of South Africa from the aftermath and brutality of years under apartheid. He forced the world’s eye on the issues of racial segregation under apartheid rule. He was everything from a freedom fighter and prisoner to a unifier and statesman.
Mandela inspired a generation of activists, left celebrities and world leaders star-struck, won the Nobel Peace Prize and raised millions for humanitarian causes.
A state funeral has been planned and President Zuma calls for mourners to conduct themselves with “the dignity and respect” that Mandela personified.
Mandela served as president from 1994 to 1999 and spent his retirement years focused on charitable causes for children and later speaking out about AIDS, which has killed millions of Africans, including his son Makgatho, who died in 2005.
Mr. Mandela retreated from public life in 2004 at the age of 85.