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Live: Nelson Mandela death leaves South Africa in mourning

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South Africa's "greatest son", former president Nelson Mandela, has died at the age of 95.

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The world mourns Mandela

Video livestream of reaction to the death of anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela.

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That's all from our live coverage for now.

But many people will continue today to reflect on Mandela - a freedom fighter who emerged from decades in prison to lead a new South Africa, in the process becoming one of the most significant figures of the 20th century.

Among them is fellow Nobel Prize winner, the South African born J.M. Coetzee. He has shared his thoughts with Fairfax.

Mandela's personal and political authority had its basis in his principled defence of armed resistance to apartheid and in the harsh punishment he suffered for that resistance. It was given further backbone by his aristocratic mien, which was not without a gracious common touch, and his old-fashioned education, which held before him Victorian ideals of personal integrity and devotion to public service.

You can find the rest of the Herald's other coverage here:


Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela in Invictus

Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela in Invictus Photo: ltonkin@theherald.com.au

Morgan Freeman recalls in Time Magazine how he came to know Mandella, whom he played in the Clint Eastwood film Invictus.

"Madiba-, as his friends called him, and I became friends back in the 1990s when, during a press conference, he was asked who he would want to portray him in a film. To my everlasting honor, he mentioned me, and thus began our 20-year relationship. I got to walk with him, talk with him, hold his hand and get to know one of the greatest men who ever lived. Nearly 20 years after our first meeting, my company Revelations had the unique pleasure of developing and producing the film Invictus, with me in the role of Mandela. Consistent with the true content of his character, his only comment after we first screened the movie for him was a humble, “Now perhaps people will remember me …”

There opening of the second day of the Ashes at the Adelaide Oval has been marked by a minute's silence for Mandela before the first session.

Another former Prime Minister has paid tribute to Mandela’s long campaign and self-sacrifice for political freedom.

Bob Hawke also highlighted the "very proud moment" where he welcomed Mandela to Parliament House in 1990.

"He had travelled to Australia to thank our nation for the part we played in bringing about his release and the enormous reform in South Africa which ultimately resulted in President de Klerk dismantling apartheid.  Upon his inauguration as President in 1994, at which I was present, he devoted himself to healing a nation that had suffered from centuries of racial discrimination and oppression. 

Nelson Mandela was one of the most remarkable leaders I have ever met and truly embodied the ideal of the brotherhood of man.  His courage and character has been an inspiration to many, both within and beyond South Africa.  It was an honour for me personally, and a matter of pride and distinction for the University of South Australia when Nelson Mandela accepted in 2001 the international patronage of the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Hawke Centre."

A scene from South Africa, where crowds have gathered outside Mandela's Johannesburg house to mourn the country's founding father.

A woman holding a candle and a rose cries outside the house of former South African president Nelson Mandela following his death. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER JOE

A woman holding a candle and a rose cries outside the house of former South African president Nelson Mandela following his death. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER JOE Photo: ALEXANDER JOE

Victoria’s MPs will express their condolences at a special event for Mandela at Parliament House on Tuesday, Aisha Dow reports.

Premier Denis Napthine made the announcement on Friday morning, declaring the former South African leader “the greatest humanitarian leader of our time”.

“Mr Mandela was a transformative figure like no other,” Dr Napthine said.

“He fought tirelessly, despite extreme adversity and oppression, for equality and fairness and to build a stronger and more united South Africa.

"The thoughts and prayers of all Victorians are with his family and with all South Africans during this very sad time.”

Next week's New Yorker cover to pay tribute to Mandela, a towering figure of the 20th century.

The New York Times' Johannesburg bureau chief, Lydia Polgreen, is outside Mandela's former home in Soweto, where she says a small group is singing "Viva, Nelson Mandela, viva!"

U2 released a song called "Ordinary Love" in tribute to Nelson Mandela just weeks ago.

It is featured in the trailer for the movie Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

You can check it out here.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela is hugged by U2 lead singer Bono, at the Nelson Mandela AIDS Benefit Concert in 2003.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela is hugged by U2 lead singer Bono, at the Nelson Mandela AIDS Benefit Concert in 2003.

Victoria’s opposition planning spokesman Brian Tee grew up in South Africa and said he had never forgotten one particular thing Mandela said.

“He said that South Africa is made of tribes,” Mr Tee said.

“That stayed with me an inspired me my entire life, the need to reach out beyond my group.

“Whether it’s me as a person or a government, I think that is the legacy he left me.

“He was a champion for South Africa and a role model for the rest of the world, that’s why he is so special.”

Nelson Mandela, while in the dock in at the 1964 Rivonia Trial facing the gallows for acts of sabotage against the apartheid government:

 ‘‘I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.’’

On becoming president in 2004:

‘‘Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.’’

On meeting the Spice Girls in 1997:

‘‘They are my heroes ... This is one of the greatest moments of my life.’’

Here are some other pieces on Nelson Mandela.

Australian journalist Neil McMahon observed the Mandela phenomenon up after his release from prison.

Nelson Mandela was a colossus whose time had to come, writes Vic Alhadeff.

Mandela showed magnanimity and humanity in accommodating his apartheid-era tormentors to rebuild the racially divided country.

Former US president George W Bush released the following statement.

"Laura and I join the people of South Africa and the world in celebrating the life of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. President Mandela was one of the great forces for freedom and equality of our time. He bore his burdens with dignity and grace, and our world is better off because of his example. This good man will be missed, but his contributions will live on forever. Laura and I send our heartfelt sympathy to President Mandela’s family and to the citizens of the nation he loved"

Opposition leader, Bill Shorten, called him "unarguably one of the greatest global figures of our time".

"Today we have lost a light of our world.

In fractious and troubled times, Mandela led his nation out of the dark age of apartheid – not with a violent struggle, but with peace, compassion and a force of moral leadership.

Mandela knew his country could never be healed with violence or vengeance. He suffered so his people could be free.

Mandela was a true leader, a statesman, and the defining symbol of reconciliation."

Shorten said Mandela was an example to the world. "We must live by that example."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his country, and all who looked to him in hope for a better world.We are better because of Mandela. May he rest in peace."

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, meets Zindzi Mandela, right, the daughter of former South African President, Nelson Mandela, as they attend the Royal Film Performance of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, at the Odeon Leicester Square, London.

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, meets Zindzi Mandela, right, the daughter of former South African President, Nelson Mandela, as they attend the Royal Film Performance of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, at the Odeon Leicester Square, London. Photo: Chris Jackson

Prince William, who was attending the premiere of the film about Mandela's life when news of his death came through, said it was "extremely sad and tragic news".

"It's just reminded what an extraodinary and inspiring man Nelson Mandela was." 

The prince said his thoughts and prayers were with the Mandela family.

Greens leader Christine Milne.

Greens leader Christine Milne. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

The Greens Leader Christine Milne has added her thoughts to the Nelson Mandela tributes.

“South Africa and the world will today mourn the loss but celebrate the life of the great leader, freedom fighter and President, Nelson Mandela."

“As a global symbol for peace, for freedom and for the struggle for liberation from suppression and violence, Nelson Mandela will live forever in the hearts and minds of Australians, just as he will for people across the globe."

“I had the immense privilege of being in the audience when Nelson Mandela addressed the World Parks Congress in 2004. I was humbled to be in the presence of one of the greatest and wisest leaders of the century."

“Mr Mandela’s message at the time was: ‘A sustainable future for humankind depends on a caring partnership with nature as much as anything else.’"

“His passion for education was a great source of personal inspiration for me as a teacher and a parliamentarian – ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’"

Britain will mourn with Mandela's family, and the people of South Africa, David Cameron says. The British Prime Minister has just appeared before the press.

"I believe that his inspiration for the future will be every bit as powerful as the extraordinary things that he acheived in his remarkable life," he says.

You can read the full address from South African president Jacob Zuma here.

It starts "My Fellow South Africans, Our beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding President of our democratic nation has departed."

And it ends with "Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika", which translates as God Bless Africa.

"Our nation has lost its greatest son.":  South Africa President Jacob Zuma announces the death of Nelson Mandela.

"Our nation has lost its greatest son.": South Africa President Jacob Zuma announces the death of Nelson Mandela. Photo: AP

Acting NSW Premier, Andrew Stoner, has released a statement. Premier Barry O'Farrell is in India.

"As a freedom fighter in apartheid South Africa, Nelson Mandela dedicated his life to achieving equality for his fellow citizens and brought the situation in his country to the attention of the global community.  
 
Later as president of South Africa, Mandela helped steer his country through the post-apartheid era with his trademark intelligence, patience and gentle determination.
 
The people of NSW have a strong connection with Nelson Mandela, and the relationship was crystallised when he stood on the steps of the Sydney Opera House to address the nation in 1990, shortly after becoming president of South Africa."

He extended his condolences to the Mandela family and the people of South Africa.

The Apollo Theater in the New York City neighbourhood Harlem has made a touching tribute to Mandela.

The famous theatre is known for its African-American performers but when it opened a century ago they were not allowed to attend as patrons or to perform.

In a sad coincidence, Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom was premiering in London as news came through of his death.

Mandela's daughter, Zindzi, as well as Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge were among those in attendance.

Zindzi had told reporters Mandela was "fine, but frail".

British actor Sir Ian McKellen

British actor Sir Ian McKellen Photo: Reuters

Thespian Ian McKellen has written of his blog of his meeting with the quietly spoken leader in 1995, on the invitation of a South African committee lobbying to ensure it would be constitutionally illegal to discriminate on grounds of sexuality.

With him was an openly gay man, Simon, who had fought against apartheid.

Simon told Mandela that he had been on trial for his life and then released.

"My regret about not being found guilty is that I missed the chance to serve with you on Robben Island," Simon said.

Mandela looked right at Simon, shaking his head. "No. No you don't regret that."

Take a look back at an extraordinary life with this gallery put together by our photo department.

Nelson Mandela on the steps of the Sydney Opera House raises his fist for the national anthem. October 1990 Click for more photos

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela on the steps of the Sydney Opera House raises his fist for the national anthem. October 1990 Photo: Steven Siewert

Live shots from outside the Mandela residence show crowds have already begun to gather.

Known to many as Madiba, the 95-year-old transformed South Africa. 

As Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu wrote following the end of apartheid: 

"Justice, freedom, goodness and love have prevailed spectacularly in South Africa, and one man has embodied that struggle and its vindication."

You can read the Herald's full obituary here.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. Photo: Wayne Taylor

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key says ‘‘Nelson Mandela was an inspirational leader, and a remarkable man’’.

‘‘For years he symbolised South Africa’s hope for a future free from apartheid."

‘‘He was a force for change, not only in South Africa, but around the world.’’

Obama

Obama Photo: Rachel Olding

"He no longer belongs to us, he belongs to the ages," says US President Barack bama of Mandela. 

America's first black president says his first political action - a protest against apartied - was inspired by the Nobel Prize winner.

Obama said Mandela gave him a sense "of what human beings could do when they're guided by their hopes and their fears".

Some more tributes are flowing on social media.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has paid tribute to Mandela on Fairfax radio.

‘‘Nelson Mandela was one of the great figures of Africa, arguably one of the great figures of the last century."

"And while I never met him I did read that book A Long Walk To Freedom and I guess the impression we get of Nelson Mandela is someone who suffered but was not embittered but ennobled through that suffering.’’

Abbott described him as "the father of the modern South Africa... a multi-racial, pluralist democracy where people were judged, to use Martin Luther King's phrase, on the content of their character not the colour of their skin".

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser has written about the man he met in a Cape Town jail during a visit to South Africa in 1986.

He was a tall, spare man standing very straight with a steady eye. He was a person of natural grace and dignity.

He looked at me and said, “Mr Fraser, is Donald Bradman still alive?” Later I was able to take a bat to Mandela, signed by Bradman, with the following notation: “To Nelson Mandela, in recognition of a great unfinished innings”.

Of all the people I have met, he was by far the greatest.

The news was announced at 10 o'clock at night, South African time.

The world's leaders are beginning to react. US President Barack Obama is due to make a statement in 10 minutes.

If you're just joining us, South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has just announced that Nelson Mandela, the country's revered icon of the anti-apartheid struggle, died peacefully at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg.

"He is now resting, he is now at peace. Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father."

The country's flags will remain at half mast until after a state funeral.

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A nation mournes Mandela (Thumbnail)Click to play video

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The world mourns Mandela

Video livestream of reaction to the death of anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela.

The moment Tony Abbott learnt of Mandela's death (Thumbnail)Click to play video

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The moment Tony Abbott learnt of Mandela's death

The Prime Minister was mid-way through an interview with Neil Mitchell when he heard of Nelson Mandela's passing.

Zuma announces Mandela death (Thumbnail)Click to play video

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Jacob Zuma announces Mandela's passing

South Africa's first black president, Nelson Mandela, has died, the country's current President, Jacob Zuma announces.

Former South Africa President Nelson Mandela formally announces his retirement from public life in Johannesburg in this June 1, 2004 file photo. Mandela is undergoing specialised tests in hospital and there is no reason to panic over his health, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Friday. Mandela, 92, was admitted to hospital on Wednesday, prompting fears for the anti-apartheid icon who led South Africa as its first black president and is revered at home and abroad as a symbol of reconciliation and hope.  REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/Files (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: HEADSHOT POLITICS HEALTH)Click for more photos

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, his life in pictures.

Nelson Mandela dead: South Africa in mourning as Jacob Zuma confirms news

6 Dec South African President Jacob Zuma has confirmed the news that Nelson Mandela has died.

Nelson Mandela: A colossus whose time had to come

6 Dec There is an incident in Nelson Mandela's seminal autobiography, Long Walk To Freedom, which is seemingly inconsequential, yet symbolises the extraordinary calibre of leadership of a political giant whose aura bestrode the world.

Nelson Mandela: The man who built the rainbow

6 Dec "Justice, freedom, goodness and love have prevailed spectacularly in South Africa, and one man has embodied that struggle and its vindication," Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu, the first black Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, wrote following the end of apartheid rule in South Africa.

Nelson Mandela: 'By far the greatest man'

6 Dec In the 1980s there was already a magnetism about Nelson Mandela. His name was known worldwide even though he had been in jail for 27 years. What kind of man could achieve that reputation from the barren Robben Island?

Mandela, the myth and the man

5 Dec In the years after Nelson Mandela's release from prison, Australian journalist Neil McMahon observed the Mandela phenomenon up close as a foreign correspondent. Here, memories of the man, the myth - and the powerful moments that marked his journey from prisoner to president.

Nelson Mandela held his turbulent country together during dangerous years

6 Dec Nelson Mandela has died after a long life – long yet lamentably truncated in that he spent 27 of the best years of his manhood incarcerated at the pleasure of the state.

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  • Words cannot describe the great innate human quality of this genuine human being. Mandela did not just love his people only-he loved all people. "Peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind" was what he stood for. The world becomes a little more empty with his passing and mankind poorer still. It is moving that that the cricket players who stood together for a minute's silence showed displayed genuine emotions of sadness and respect. Peace be to 'Madiba' and may his life of goodwill remain alive among all his people and in the world.

    Commenter
    worjus
    Location
    Date and time
    December 06, 2013, 1:42PM
  • An inspiration for us all, whatever our race, ethnicity, gender, class & orientation. Mr Mandela, may you rest in peace.

    Commenter
    Tracey
    Date and time
    December 06, 2013, 1:06PM
  • Nelson Mandela I am glad that you were here in my lifetime and that I was able to know about you. You will forever be an inspiration to me and to millions who have followed you with respect and gratitude for so long.

    Commenter
    SusannaP
    Location
    country Vic
    Date and time
    December 06, 2013, 12:09PM
  • Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.

    - Invictus. William Ernest Henly.

    Commenter
    Gravy
    Location
    Date and time
    December 06, 2013, 11:51AM
  • May his ethos of justice and equality remain with mankind and us forever.
    Vale, Rolihlahla Madiba truly a remarkable and inspirational person of our times.

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    December 06, 2013, 11:27AM
  • I knew this day would come yet hoped it never would. He stands alone as a great leader of our time. A courageous fighter for rights yet humble and forgiving. He gave us all hope.

    Commenter
    Derek
    Location
    Hobart
    Date and time
    December 06, 2013, 10:47AM
  • FAREWELL MADIBA - HAMBA KAHLE
    Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born into a country divided by racist policies. He experienced the worst kind of bigotry and the indignity of incarceration in a harsh environment. It would have been perfectly understandable if he chose to hate and to wallow in victimhood. Instead, he stood tall and dignified and promoted peaceful reconciliation. He put his own suffering aside for the good of his country. He proved that through the promotion of understanding and goodwill it is possible to achieve transition without revolution. No matter your politics, there has been and there will be very few leaders as great as Nelson Mandela. Madiba we thank you for being an inspiration. Hamba Kahle

    Commenter
    E Jaffe
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    December 06, 2013, 10:38AM
  • GOODNIGHT SWEET PRINCE

    Commenter
    Libfail
    Location
    Date and time
    December 06, 2013, 10:32AM
  • A man of great vision and heart.
    I am proud of being a child of Souh Africa and mourn the loss of a loved father.
    Viva Mandela Viva.

    Commenter
    Francois
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 06, 2013, 10:31AM
  • A great MAN he achieved a lot in his lifetime. He helped change a nation not many have achieved more.

    Commenter
    Lucky Star
    Location
    Date and time
    December 06, 2013, 10:22AM
  • He was a truly great man, who stood up against imperialism. His best friends included Gadhafi and Hugo Chavez. Gadhafi has ensured that Libya had one of the most educated population in Africa. Freedom and human rights were the highest in Africa/World as per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Development_Index
    Unfortunately the money Libya had in reserves and its oil were too much to ignore to France and the UK.

    Commenter
    Peter Schmidt
    Location
    Date and time
    December 06, 2013, 10:15AM
  • Nelson Mandela's greatest legacy will be the inspiration to humanity to pursue freedom and equality for all mankind. A shining light has gone out, but is not extinguished. RIP.

    Commenter
    Parto
    Location
    Date and time
    December 06, 2013, 10:14AM
  • I don't think there are adequate words to express the tremendous admiration that I have for this great man. If only there were a few more like him amongst the world leaders.. Thank you Nelson.

    Commenter
    Peter S
    Location
    Cassilis
    Date and time
    December 06, 2013, 9:57AM
  • Sad Sad Day may he rest in peace

    Commenter
    LF
    Location
    Date and time
    December 06, 2013, 9:47AM
  • Rest in Peace Nelson Mandela, the most influential person of our era. Your wisdom, sacrifice, compassion and achievements will always be remembered.

    Commenter
    Peter Campbell
    Location
    Surrey Hills
    Date and time
    December 06, 2013, 9:42AM
  • Vale Nelson Mandela and commiserations to his family and South Africa. The World has lost a great man, we will be lucky to see the like of him again in our lifetime. A man of pure grace and humility!

    Commenter
    Andrew
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    December 06, 2013, 9:38AM

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