The Death of South African Leader Nelson Mandela: World Leaders React

 2224 GMT: Reaction continues to pour in, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calling Mandela "a giant for justice" and the French Foreign Minister saluting him as "a charismatic giant".


Irish prime minister Enda Kenny paid tribute to the "gift" of Mandela, and offered the country's deepest sympathies to the people of South Africa.

"The name Mandela stirred our conscience and our hearts. It became synonymous with the pursuit of dignity and freedom across the globe," he said in a statement.

2215 GMT: British Prime Minister David Cameron said "a great light had gone out" following Nelson Mandela's death, revealing that flags would be flown at half-mast at his Downing Street Office.

US President Barack Obama will deliver a statement on Mandela's death from the White House at 2220 GMT.

2211 GMT: Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 1993 with Frederik Willem de Klerk "for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa".

Fellow Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said, "He is by far the most admired and revered statesperson in the world and one of the greatest human beings to walk this earth."

2206 GMT: Mandela had been receiving treatment for a lung infection at his Johannesburg home since September, after three months in hospital in a critical state.

Mandela is survived by three daughters, 18 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and three step-grandchildren. He had four step-children through his marriage to Graca Machel, whom he married on his 80th birthday.

2157 GMT: South African President Jacob Zuma addressed the nation to inform them of the passing of Nelson Mandela at 95 years old.

A sombre Zuma said, "Fellow South Africans, our beloved Nelson Mandela, the founding president of our democratic nation, has departed. He passed on peacefully in the company of his family around 20:50 on the 5th of December, 2013. He is now resting. He is now at peace. Our nation has lost its greatest son."

Zuma announced that all flags will fly at half-mast from tomorrow until after the state funeral.

Zuma reminded his nation, "As we gather to pay our last respects, let us conduct ourselves with the dignity and respect that Madiba personified.

"Let us be mindful of his wishes and the wishes of his family.

"Let us commit ourselves to strive together? to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.

Welcome to AFP's live report on the death of Nelson Mandela. Join us as we follow reaction to the passing of South Africa's iconic leader.

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