Tributes from world leaders have flooded in as the news of Nelson Mandela's death broke overnight. See the incredible reaction to the loss of a hero...
Nelson Mandela tributes have been flooding in overnight as news of the former South African President’s death spread across the world. Mandela died last night aged 95. He had been receiving medical treatment for the last three years for a prolonged lung infection, and had been critically ill for the last six months.
South African leader Jacob Zuma last night made the announcement of the hero’s death, revealing that he had passed away peacefully in the company of his family.
He said: ‘Our nation has lost its greatest son, our people have lost a father. Although we knew that this day would come nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss.’
He added: ‘As we gather wherever we are in the country and wherever we are in the world let us recall the values for which Madiba fought. Let us reaffirm his vision of a society in which none is exploited, oppressed or dispossessed by another.
‘Let us commit ourselves to strive together, sparing neither strength nor courage to build a united non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.’
Last night crowds began to gather outside Nelson Mandela’s home, filling the gates with messages and floral tributes.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner will receive a state funeral and national flags will be lowered at half-mast.
The news of Mandela’s death broke in the UK just moments after Kate Middleton and Prince William attended the London premiere of Idris Elba‘s new movie Mandela: Walk To Freedom, which is based on the former President’s autobiography.
Shortly after Jacob Zuma’s statement, President Barack Obama addressed the US with an emotional speech, saying: ‘We’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth
‘Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, Madiba transformed South Africa and moved all of us. His journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings and countries can change for the better.’
David Cameron said: ‘A great light has gone out in the world. Mr Mandela was “a towering figure in our time; a legend in life and now in death – a true global hero”.’
A statement from the Queen at Buckingham Palace last night read: ‘Her Majesty remembers with great warmth her meetings with Mr Mandela.
‘He worked tirelessly for the good of his country, and his legacy is the peaceful South Africa we see today.’
Prince Charles also paid tribute to Mandela, saying: ‘He was also a man of great humour and had a real zest for life.
‘With his passing, there will be an immense void not only in his family’s lives, but also in those of all South Africans and the many others whose lives have been changed through his fight for peace, justice and freedom.
‘The world has lost an inspired leader and a great man. My family and I are profoundly saddened and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.’
We’ll bring you more on Mandela and details of his funeral later this morning.