South Africa’s first black president and anti-apartheid icon, Nelson Mandela has died, South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma has said.
Mandela, 95, led South Africa’s transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s, after 27 years in prison. He had been receiving intense home-based medical care for a lung infection after three months in hospital.
In a statement on South African national TV, President Zuma said that Mandela had “departed” and was at peace.
Nelson Mandela’s home in South Africa, where the anti-apartheid icon has been receiving medical treatment since September, was a hub of activity Thursday as concern grew over his condition.
A tribal elder was seen at the Johannesburg home, and emergency vehicles were seen outside. Media and local residents were gathering outside. The activity at the ex-president’s home was unusual but there was no official word on whether his condition had changed.
Mandela, 95, spent three months in the hospital with a recurrent lung infection earlier this year but he was released in September. Last month, South African President Jacob Zuma said Mandela was in “stable but critical condition” was was continuing to respond to treatment.
Day earlier, his ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, had told South Africa’s Sunday Independent newspaper, that he was “quite ill” and could not talk because of tubes in his mouth to clear fluid from his lungs. “The bedroom there is like an ICU ward,” the newspaper quoted her as saying, adding that Mandela used facial movements to communicate.