- After ten days of mourning in South Africa, Nelson Mandela’s state funeral will be on Sunday, December 15
- Mourners have gathered outside his home and national landmarks to dance and sing in his memory
- Former president passed away home in Johannesburg. He’d spent three months in hospital with lung infection
- His body has been taken to a military hospital in Pretoria, where he will be embalmed and prepared to lie in state
- South African President Jacob Zuma confirmed Mandela’s death before 9pm local time (7pm GMT) in TV address
- ‘Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves’
- President Obama paid emotional tribute, saying: ‘I cannot fully imagine my life without example Mandela set’
- David Cameron said a ‘great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time…’
- He was discharged in September and had been receiving home-based medical attention since then
Death came as Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended London premiere of biopic Long Walk To Freedom
Nelson Mandela started his final journey today as his body was taken from his home in a coffin draped in the South African flag he loved so ardently as it was announced his funeral will be on Sunday, December 15.
Before then, from December 11 to 13, the anti-apartheid hero’s body will lie in state in a glass-topped coffin at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where he was inaugurated as president on May 10, 1994.
It will mark three of the ten days officially assigned as a mourning period for ‘Madiba’ or ‘Tata’ as he was devotedly called, ahead of what is expected to be the one of the biggest funerals in history.
Mourners have gathered to dance and sing songs of freedom outside his home as the world celebrates the life of the adored statesman who brought peace and equality to his country and died last night aged 95.
He passed away at home in Johannesburg at 8.50pm yesterday and his body was moved to a military hospital in Pretoria this morning, where he is under armed guard.
Imprisoned for 27 years before becoming South Africa’s first black president, his courage in the face of persecution made him the most potent symbol of the struggle against apartheid, and an inspiration to millions in his country and billions beyond.
South African president Jacob Zuma announced this afternoon Nelson Mandela’s state funeral will be held in Quino, the village where he grew up, and is likely to be attended by world leaders including David Cameron and Barack Obama.
Between December 11 and December 13 his embalmed body will lie in state in a glass-fronted coffin at the Union Buildings in Pretoria , where he was inaugurated as president on May 10, 1994.
The Queen has said this morning she is ‘deeply saddened’ to learn of Nelson Mandela’s death, saying the former South African president ‘worked tirelessly for the good of his country’.
SOUTH AFRICA’S TEN DAYS OF MOURNING AND THE GRANDEST FUNERAL AFRICA HAS EVER SEEN
Elaborate funeral plans have been set in motion in South Africa following the death of the country’s revered first black president Nelson Mandela.
Ten days of mourning will culminate in an unparalleled event in South Africa’s history on Sunday, December 15.
South African President Jacob Zuma ordered the nation’s flags to be flown at half-mast beginning Friday and to remain that way until after Mandela’s funeral, which is expected to be held next Saturday.
In the coming days it is believed his body will be embalmed.
For the three days the anti-apartheid hero’s body will lie in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where he was inaugurated as president on May 10, 1994.
On day nine, plans have been made for a military aircraft to fly Mr Mandela to Mthatha, the main town in the South African province of Eastern Cape.
His casket will then be taken by the military on a gun carriage to Qunu, his home village.
Later, ANC leaders, local chiefs and Mandela’s family are expected to gather for a private night vigil.
On the final day, Mandela will finally be laid to rest in the grounds of his family home in Qunu, where thousands of people, including heads of state will gather for the state funeral.
Buckingham Palace will fly the Union Flag at half staff today in his honour when Her Majesty leaves for Windsor Castle later.
‘The Queen was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Nelson Mandela last night. His legacy is the peaceful South Africa we see today,’ Buckingham Palace said this morning.
‘Her Majesty remembers with great warmth her meetings with Mr Mandela and sends her sincere condolences to his family and the people of South Africa at this very sad time.’
Last night Mandela’s death was announced in South Africa as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sat down to watch the screening of Long Walk To Freedom, the movie based on his autobiography. They were told in the auditorium in Leicester Square.
Nelson Mandela’s daughter Zindzi Mandela also learnt of her father’s death while watching the royal premiere.
Screams rang out in the auditorium as the news was broken to her, although the majority of fellow audience members were not informed until after the film.
The Duke of Cambridge, with Kate beside him, said: ‘It was extremely sad and tragic news. We were just reminded of what an extraordinary and inspiring man Nelson Mandela was and my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family right now.’
The Prince of Wales also paid tribute to the former South African leader.
He said: ‘Mr Mandela was the embodiment of courage and reconciliation. 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.’
His death was announced in a televised address broadcast, in which South African president Jacob Zuma said: ‘Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father.
‘What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.’
Mr Mandela passed away at home after a long battle against illness. He was 95.
Mr Zuma said the former president would be accorded a State funeral and flags throughout South Africa would fly at half-mast until it was over.
Mr Mandela’s efforts to heal his country after its long history of division made him one of the world’s most loved leaders, viewed by millions of Africans as a secular saint.
He was known in South Africa as ‘Madiba’, his clan name, which means ‘grandfather’.
In a church service in Cape Town, retired archbishop Desmond Tutu and fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate said Mandela would want South Africans themselves to be his ‘memorial’ by adhering to the values of unity and democracy that he embodied.
‘All of us here in many ways amazed the world, a world that was expecting us to be devastated by a racial conflagration,’ Tutu said, recalling how Mandela helped unite South Africa as it dismantled apartheid, the cruel system of white minority rule, and prepared for all-race elections in 1994. In those elections, the anti-apartheid leader who spent 27 years in prison, became South Africa’s first black president.
‘God, thank you for the gift of Madiba,’ said Tutu in his closing his prayer, using Mandela’s clan name.
David Cameron said: ‘A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time. I have asked for the flag at No 10 to be flown at half-mast.’
The Prime Minister has signed a book of condolence at South Africa House in London this morning. In a message, he said Mr Mandela ‘will inspire generations to come’.
He wrote: ‘Your cause of fighting for freedom and against discrimination, your struggle for justice, your triumph against adversity – these things will inspire generations to come.
‘And through all of this, your generosity, compassion and profound sense of forgiveness have given us all lessons to learn and live by.’
He ended his message with a quote – ‘Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.’
It is understood that Mr Cameron is likely to fly out to South Africa early next week to take part in a formal memorial service.
Despite being allowed to return home three months ago, South Africa’s first black president has not been able to move from a bedroom described as being a ‘virtual 24 hour intensive care unit’
Life of an icon: Nelson Mandela was leader of the National Congress African, photographed in traditional dress in 1961, was castigated and imprisoned, but after 27 years was released and rose to become one of the greatest figures of the past century, right in 1994
Details of how tributes will be paid to Mr Mandela in the House of Commons on Monday are expected later today.
Today Tony Blair told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Mr Mandela had a good relationship with Britain, despite the opposition to him from parts of the establishment.
‘He literally never used to let that bother him at all in terms of his regard for the country and, by the way, he was always perfectly gracious about Mrs Thatcher as well. I think he had a tremendous affection for Britain, he admired it as a country, he liked the people and I know he always used to enjoy coming.’
The former prime minister added: ‘He came to represent something that was much more than just about the resolution of the issues of apartheid and of South Africa, he came to represent something quite inspirational for the future of the world and for peace and reconciliation in the 21st century. Former prime minister Sir John Major said Mr Mandela ‘left an indelible mark on his time that few have ever equalled’.
Outpouring: Monuments to ‘Mandiba’ in London are being surrounded by flowers and candles by those inspired by his example to the world
Flowers and a framed picture of Mr Mandela were laid at the base of his statue in Parliament Square in the early hours.
As the candles and flowers multiplied, a group of people with South African scarves and flags cried out ‘Long live the spirit of Nelson Mandela’ and ‘Viva Mandela’.
Joan Foster, 51, from London, left a bunch of flowers and said she could ‘be here all day’ explaining why she felt like she had to do so.
She said: ‘It’s amazing how one person made so much change. How many people could say they made a nation change the way they think?’
Hugh Sinclair, 54, from Germany, broke down in tears as he spoke about Mr Mandela after leaving flowers.
He said he was an example to the world of how ‘humans should be’ ‘There’s so much war and hatred in the world,’ he said.
Recalling the day Mr Mandela was released, he said tearfully: ‘I felt very, very emotional because I’d been to Zimbabwe and I’d been to South Africa when it was under apartheid and I remember how the non-whites suffered.‘It was an enormous relief for so many people.’ Mr Sinclair added: ‘He is one of the truly great leaders, and I feel very thankful that we have him.’
People wishing to pay their last respects gather outside Nelson Mandela’s home in Johannesburg
Crowds at Mandela’s home paying their respects to the former president, who died on Thursday aged 95 and left a nation in mourning
Mourners outside Mandela’s home film the occasion on their mobile phones
Dozens of journalists gathered outside Mandela’s home
Tribute: As news of Mandela’s death filtered out late last night, residents of Johannesburg came to the suburb where he lived to light candles in his honour
Mourners who joined the all-night vigil outside Mandela’s home brought tributes with them – this man brought the front page of a newspaper commemorating his life
As dawn broke on the leafy suburb where Mandela died last night, mourners lit candles and laid flowers, flags and soft toys in a shrine for the former president
A framed portrait of the former president and flowers are placed outside Mandela’s home on Friday
The vigil outside Manela’s home included groups of people singing and dancing in celebration of his life
Patriotic celebration: The mood of those outside Mandela’s house turned from one of grief to one of joy as mourners danced and sang songs in his honour
Rumours of Mr Mandela’s increasing discomfort started circulating in the early afternoon Wednesday as increasing numbers of Mandela family members arrived at the former president’s large Johannesburg home.
South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma announced the long-expected death in a special television broadcast last night.
Mr Zuma said: ‘Our nation has lost its greatest son.’
‘What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.
‘Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell.’
The White House said tonight that the president is expected to travel to South Africa for Mandela’s state funeral along with other world leaders.
‘He achieved more than could be expected for any man and today he’s gone home,’ Obama said at a news conference. ‘Madiba transformed South Africa and moved all of us- his journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that humans can transform for the better.’
Mr Obama visited South Africa in June and met with the former president’s family but did not personally meet with the ailing leader because his health was so poor at the time.
Hillary Clinton, former US secretary of state, said Mr Mandela was ‘a champion for justice and human dignity, with unmatched grace’.
Former U.S. president Bill Clinton said last night: ‘Today the world has lost one of its most important leaders and one of its finest human beings. And Hillary, Chelsea and I have lost a true friend.
‘History will remember Nelson Mandela as a champion for human dignity and freedom, for peace and reconciliation.
‘We will remember him as a man of uncommon grace and compassion, for whom abandoning bitterness and embracing adversaries was not just a political strategy but a way of life.
‘Our thoughts and prayers go out to Graca and his family and to the people of South Africa. All of us are living in a better world because of the life that Madiba lived.
‘He proved that there is freedom in forgiving, that a big heart is better than a closed mind, and that life’s real victories must be shared.’
In a statement former president George Bush said: ‘President Mandela was one of the great forces for freedom and equality of our time. He bore his burdens with dignity and grace, and our world is better off because of his example.
‘This good man will be missed, but his contributions will live on forever. Laura and I send our heartfelt sympathy to President Mandela’s family and to the citizens of the nation he loved.’
Tears: Many of those who came to pay tribute to the man who gave them their freedom brought their children with them
Brought together by grief: South African people hold hands outside Mandela’s house after learning of his death at the age of 95
Tribute for our brother: People gather on Vilakazi Street in the black township of Soweto, where Mandela lived during the 1940s and 1950s
The Nobel Peace Prize winner was 95 when he passed away
He said that the very first political action in his life, let alone his career, was his participation in an anti-apartheid rally held in Mandela’s honor.
‘We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again, so it falls to us’ to live by his example and ‘make decisions not by hate but by love,’ Mr Obama said in the press conference.
He said that the thoughts and prayers of the first family and the American people were with Mr Mandela’s family.
‘His life’s work meant long days away from those who loved him most,’ saying that he hoped they were able to value the last few months together.
Westminster Abbey will hold a national service of thanksgiving for the life of Mr Mandela after the state funeral in South Africa.
A book of condolence will be opened at St Margaret’s Church at the Abbey from 9.30am today.
A world indebted: Press gather outside Mandela’s home. World leaders across the globe learned the somber news from South Africa’s President Zuma. Many of them, notably US President Barack Obama, expressed their indebtedness to the late freedom fighter
‘Nelson Mandela showed us the true meaning of courage, hope, and reconciliation,’ Cameron said. ‘My heart goes out to his family – and to all in South Africa and around the world whose lives were changed through his courage.’
Cameron tweeted that the flag at No 10 Downing Street would be flown at half-mast.
‘A great light has gone out in the world,’ Cameron said. ‘Nelson Mandela was a hero of out time.
Although increasingly frail, Mandela had been in an out of the hospital over the past five years, he was last rushed to hospital on June 8th this year.
A nation mourns: South African president Jacob Zuma tells the world of Mandela’s passing in this screen grab of his Thursday address
The Duke and Duchess were in high spirits upon their arrival (left) to the Nelson Mandela film, unaware the great freedom fighter had died just hours before. They were discreetly told of his passing near the end of the film and left in a somber mood
Source : Daily mail