President Nelson Mandela is dead. In a statement read by South African President Jacob Zuma, the much-loved great-grandfather, who is also known as the Father of a united South African nation passed away peacefully surrounded by his family just before 9.00p.m. local time in his home in Pretoria South Africa at the age of 95 years.
'Madiba' as he was fondly called by South Africans and much of the world, earned the respect of the world with his quiet, non-violent resistance of the racial inequalities that characterized white apartheid rule in the Country, serving a jail term of 27 years. On his release from prison, Mandela led his African National Congress (ANC) party to victory in the polls, becoming the first black President of the Country (1994 - 1999) in which he had once been the most visible figure of resistance to the ruling Apartheid government. He earned the love of the world when he stepped down after serving only one term in office during which he instituted the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The TRC sought to document politically-motivated abuse during the Apartheid regime. In spite of criticisms that it did not provide justice for the victims, the TRC was considered as marginally successful in its effort to heal a deeply divided Country.
Although he was much respected for his political achievements, Mandela suffered many personal losses including the death of three children, a great-grand-daughter and the failure of two marriages.
Madiba is survived by his wife Graca Machel Mandela, his ex-wife Winnie Mandela, children, grand-children and great-grand-children. In the words of President Zuma: 'South Africa has lost its greatest Son'. Mandela is to be accorded a State funeral.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 January 2014 00:26
Written by Lola Balola