Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela dies at 95 - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela dies at 95

Updated:
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -

His native land and the world are mourning the loss of South African leader Nelson Mandela. The country's first black president has died at 95 after a long illness.
 
Mandela, a former boxer, attorney and freedom fighter, spent nearly one-third of his life as a political prisoner of apartheid, the legalized racist system of oppression controlled by South Africa's white minority.  Amazingly he emerged advocating forgiveness, even acceptance of the minority Afrikaans culture to form a democratic non-racial government.
 
His transformation from freedom fighter to statesman caused admirers to compare Mandela to Martin Luther King Jr. and Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi.
 
South Africa's current leader, President Jacob Zuma, announced Mandela's death during a TV broadcast Thursday night. Zuma said the nation had lost its greatest son and that the people had lost a father. Zuma said Mandela died "peacefully" while with his family.

President Barack Obama says the world has lost an influential, courageous and 'profoundly good' man with the death of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.
 
Obama says Mandela "no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages." 
 
Speaking from the White House, Obama said he was one of the countless millions around the world who was influenced by Mandela.
 
Obama met with Mandela's family earlier this year when he visited South Africa. But he did not meet with the ailing leader, who was hospitalized throughout the U.S. president's visit.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says Nelson Mandela was "a giant for justice" whose "selfless struggle for human dignity, equality and freedom" inspired many people around the world.

"No one did more in our time to advance the values and aspirations of the United Nations," he told reporters soon after Mandela's death was announced Thursday.

"Nelson Mandela showed what is possible for our world, and within each one of us, if we believe a dream and work together for justice and humanity," Ban said. "Let us continue each day to be inspired by Nelson Mandela's lifelong example to keep working for a better and more just world."

The U.N. Security Council interrupted a meeting on the tribunals for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and stood for a minute in silent tribute to Mandela.

 

U.S. Rep. Andre Carson says the world has lost a beacon of hope and equality for all people with the death of Mandela.

Carson, a Democrat who represents central Indiana's 7th District, says the world has lost one the greatest leaders in the advancement of equality and human rights.

Rep. Luke Messer, a Republican representing eastern Indiana's 6th District, says the world lost one of its greatest champions of democracy. He says Mandela embodied the values of courage, equality, unity and peace.

Rep. Jackie Walorski, a Republican representing northern Indiana's 2nd District, says Mandela dedicated his life to the courageous pursuit of peace and justice for all. She called his death tragic but says his legacy will inspire others to keep changing the world for the better.

South Africans are reacting to the death of Mandela with deep sadness at the loss of a man considered by many to be the father of the nation.

 

Mourners also say it is a time to celebrate the achievements of the iconic former South African president and anti-apartheid leader.
 
One Johannesburg resident, 31-year-old Hamsa Moosa, said after the 95-year-old Mandela died Thursday night that he "wouldn't be free" if not for the man affectionately known by his clan name "Madiba."
 
A 29-year-old accountant, Thumelo Madikwe, says Mandela played his role in the world "very well" and that he lived a long life.

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