Nelson Mandela death: Zuma statement key quotes

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe announcement of Mandela's death was made by President Jacob Zuma

South African leader Jacob Zuma made the announcement that the country's first black president, Nelson Mandela, had died on Thursday evening.

The anti-apartheid icon passed away peacefully in the company of his family, Mr Zuma said.

He referred to Mandela as South Africa's "greatest son" and urged South Africans to follow his example.

Here are some key quotes from the statement:

'Profound loss'

Our nation has lost its greatest son, our people have lost a father. Although we knew that this day would come nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss.

'Brought us together''

What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves and in him we saw so much of ourselves. Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell.

'Dignity and respect'

As we gather wherever we are in the country and wherever we are in the world let us recall the values for which Madiba fought. Let us reaffirm his vision of a society in which none is exploited, oppressed or dispossessed by another. Let us commit ourselves to strive together, sparing neither strength nor courage to build a united non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.


That is indeed the moment of our deepest sorrow. Yet it must also be the moment of our greatest determination. A determination to live as Madiba has lived. To strive as he has strived and to not rest until we have realised his vision of a truly united South Africa, a peaceful and prosperous Africa and a better world.

More on this story