EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSAnti-Apartheid Icon Nelson Mandela Dies At 95
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Heath Harrison
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Also Contributing: Associated Press
Reported: Dec. 5, 2013 4:52 PM EST
Updated: Dec. 6, 2013 3:28 AM EST
Johannesburg, South Africa
Nelson Mandela, the former South African president who emerged from prison to lead his country out of decades of racial segregation, has died. He was 95.
South Africa's president Jacob Zuma announced Mandela's passing on Thursday.
"We've lost our greatest son," Zuma said in a statement.
Mandela had been battling health issues in recent months because of a recurring lung infection.
Along with former South African President F.W. de Klerk, Mandela was the recipient of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.
Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who rose to fame in the 1980s as one of apartheid's most vocal opponents, said Mandela was "an amazing gift to humankind."
"The world is a better place for Nelson Mandela," Tutu said. "He showed in his own character, and inspired in others, many of God's attributes: goodness, compassion, a desire for justice, peace, forgiveness and reconciliation."
His death brought messages of tribute from leaders around the world.
"Mandela achieved more than could be expected of any man," U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement to the media. "He lives for the ages."
Obama said he could not imagine his life without the example Mandela set.
British Prime Minister David Cameron also paid tribute.
"A great light has gone out in the world," Cameron said. "Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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