Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president who helped lead the country’s revolution out of the brutal apartheid system, died Thursday at his home at the age of 95.
“He is now resting,” said South African President Jacob Zuma. “He is now at peace.”
“Our nation has lost his greatest son,” he continued. “Our people have lost their father.”
Mandela had been suffering from several health issues including repeated hospitalizations with a chronic lung infection.
The Guardian reports:
The death of Mandela will send South Africa deep into mourning and self-reflection 18 years after he led the country from racial apartheid to inclusive democracy.
But his passing will also be keenly felt by people around the world who revered Mandela as one of history’s last great statesmen, and a moral paragon comparable with Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion,” Mandela wrote in his memoir Long Walk to Freedom. “People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”