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Nelson Mandela has died peacefully at 95

South Africa's first black president and anti-apartheid icon, former president Nelson Mandela has died peacefully at his home in Johannesburg, surrounded by his family on Thursday evening, South African President Jacob Zuma said.

"Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish  our sense of a profound and enduring loss," Zuma said addressing the nation on television.  "His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the  world."

Mr Mandela, 95, led South Africa's transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s, after 27 years in prison. He had been receiving intense home-based medical care for a lung infection after three months in hospital.

Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has released a prayer for former president Nelson Mandela, his foundation said.

“We offer a prayer of contrition. We come with humble and broken hearts for all the ways we have fallen short of the glory of God.

“We come carrying our sorrow for all of the ways that we have fallen short of the example that Madiba offered us; an example of integrity, of reconciliation, of leadership in the service of the people.

“So we thank God for Rolihlahla. We thank God that this man had the courage to learn and to grow.

“As we stand before God with all of our grief, we ask God to bless South Africa. God bless South Africa, guide our leaders, guard our children and give us peace,” Tutu's prayer read.

President Jacob Zuma announced his death just before midnight. “He passed on peacefully in the company of his family around 20.50pm on December 5. He is now resting, he is now at peace. Our nation has lost its greatest son.

“Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we bid him farewell.”


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