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Nelson Mandela dies

ICON: Nelson Mandela

FORMER SOUTH African President and anti-apartheid revolutionary icon Nelson Mandela has died at his Johannesburg home. He was 95.

The announcement came from the current President Jacob Zuma. Addressing the nation, Zuma said: "Fellow South Africans, our beloved Nelson Mandela has departed.

"He passed on peacefully in the company of his family at about 20:50. He is now rested. He is now at peace. Our nation has lost its greatest son, our people have lost a father."

Mandela had returned home on September 1 in a critical condition after being in a Pretoria hospital for almost three months - the fourth time he had been admitted to hospital since December. He had battled a series of lung infections and respiratory illnesses in the past few years.

Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison after being found guilty of being sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow his country's government before being released in 1990, became South Africa's first democratically elected president, holding office from 1994 to 1999.

Earlier this week, Mandela's daughter Makaziwe Mandela said her father had been putting up a “strong, courageous” battle for his life from his “deathbed”.

Speaking to South African broadcaster SABA, she said: “Even for a lack of a better word... on his deathbed he is teaching us lessons - lessons in patience, in love, lessons of tolerance”.

The ex-president’s daughter added that he is “still with us, strong, courageous”.

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