As it happened: Reaction to Nelson Mandela's death

Key points

  • President Jacob Zuma announced that Nelson Mandela had died at the age of 95
  • Mandela was elected South Africa's first black president after he spent 27 years in prison
  • He was the figurehead for the struggle against the apartheid regime for decades, winning the Nobel peace prize
  • He had been suffering from a lung infection but left hospital in September to spend his remaining days at the family home near Johannesburg
  • World leaders paid tribute, including President Obama who said Nelson Mandela embodied the "promise of change for the better"
  • All times in GMT

Live text

Reporting:

  • Sitala Peek 
  • Anna Jones 
  • Helier Cheung 
  • Yaroslav Lukov 
  • Zoe Murphy 
  • Joe Boyle 
  • Warren Bull 
  • Taylor Brown 
  • Sean Clare 

Last updated 5 December 2013

BREAKING Breaking News

The Queen with Nelson Mandela in 1996

The Queen describes the former South African president as someone who "worked tirelessly for the good of his country". She adds: "His legacy is the peaceful South Africa we see today." A statement issued by Buckingham Palace says: "Her Majesty remembers with great warmth her meetings with Mr Mandela and sends her sincere condolences to his family and the people of South Africa at this very sad time."

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In the past few minutes, South African President Jacob Zuma has announced the death of Nelson Mandela, saying the nation had lost its greatest son.

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Mr Mandela, who was 95, had been suffering from a recurrence of a lung infection. He was admitted to hospital three times this year but since September he had been receiving treatment at his home in Johannesburg.

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President Zuma said: "Our people have lost their father. Although we knew this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of profound and enduring loss."

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Mr Zuma said Nelson Mandela would be accorded a state funeral.

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"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mandela family," Mr Zuma said.

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Gabriel Gatehouse, BBC News, Johannesburg

Nelson Mandela's body will be moved to a mortuary in Pretoria, and the state funeral is expected to take place next Saturday.

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All flags in South Africa will be lowered to half-mast and will remain like that until after Mr Mandela's funeral, President Zuma announced.

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Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black president after a long fight against white minority rule. The BBC looks at his life in pictures

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World leaders past and present have been paying tribute to Nelson Mandela. UK Prime Minister David Cameron said "a great light has gone out in the world".

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Mandela was "a source of inspiration" for the world.