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Former South African president Nelson Mandela dies at age 95

Updated: 2013-12-06 PM 9:54:16 (KST)
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"Fellow South Africans, our beloved Nelson Rohlihla Mandela, the founding President of our democratic nation has departed."

In the televised address on Thursday, the South African president announced the death of the world's most revered statesman, Nelson Mandela, at the age of 95.
An hour after Zuma's announcement, U.S. President Barack Obama, who often referred to Mandela as a personal inspiration, heaped praise on his hero.

"We have lost one of the most influential, courageous and good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth. He no longer belongs to us, he belongs to the ages."

Mandela's death is being attributed to respiratory infections that date back to his time in jail when he was first diagnosed with Tuberculosis.
He spent 27 years in prison, locked up for his fight for freedom against his country's apartheid system, before being released in 1990.
The nearly three decades behind bars did not slow Mandela, nor did it leave him bitter or twisted with hatred

"Your struggle, you commitment and your discipline have release me to stand before you today."

Less than three months after being released in 1990, he held face-to-face talks with National Party leader, the then President F.W. De Klerk and through painstaking negotiations began to pick apart the white political domination.
Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end white rule in 1993.
Only a year later, his efforts laid fruit to the first multi-racial elections and Mandela was elected South Africa's first black President marking a true end to apartheid.

"I cherish the idea of a new South Africa where all South Africans are equal."

For many South Africans, Mandela will long be in their memories as Madiba, his traditional clan name, often used as a sign of affection and for the world,.. he will remain a global icon for racial equality for centuries to come.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.

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