South Africa is in mourning after news that their former leader, and equal rights icon Nelson Mandela has sadly passed after an extended battle with a lung infection and other conditions. Mandela was 95 and had been receiving long-term care at his home since September 2013, after many bouts of hospitalisation in recent years. He is thought to have died peacefully with his family by his side.
Mandela will always be revered as being the father of the anti-apartheid movement which culminated in his party, the ANC winning the general election of 1994, receiving in excess of 20 million ballots in the process.
He was the president that abolished the segregation of different cultural backgrounds and instilled the idea of equality throughout South Africa — the very thing he was advocating for which resulted in him being imprisoned in 1962. His eventual release was secured in 1990. Mandela embodied the sense of a common nation and South Africa today mourns the loss of their beloved son. All flags of South Africa are now lowered to half-mast in recognition of his monumental achievements and passing until after his funeral.
The current president Jacob Zuma, said in a statement: “Let us re-affirm his vision of a society where man isn’t oppressed because of the colour of his skin, let us show determination in the ways of Mandela and let us not rest until we have achieved his vision, of a united South Africa.”
Mandela is noted for also pronouncing forgiveness on those who imprisoned him as part of his vision and battle for equality, a battle that is still being fought across the world.
Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his relentless battle against segregation and is regarded as being as influential as Martin Luther King.
Prior to Mandela’s release from the infamous prison in which he was held captive, South Africa was subject of relentless embargos and depositions imposed by the liberal western world, this included a ban from on sporting organisations hailing from South Africa.
“I dream of an Africa which is at peace with itself.” — Nelson Mandela