World Leader Nelson Mandela Passes Away at 95
Matt | On 05, Dec 2013
Today is a sad day for the people of South Africa, and perhaps for many in the world.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela, or Madiba as he was sometimes known globally, passed away at the age of 95. He had been battling a lung infection off and on throughout the year. A few months ago, after recovering somewhat, he retreated to his home in Houghton, outside of Johannesburg where he ultimately lived out the final months of his life.
Mandela embodied activism and social justice. He was famously jailed for 27 years for conspiracy to overthrow the government and sabotage after receiving military training in North Africa while protesting his government. The former leader earned his law degree in absentia from the University of South Africa while imprisoned and fought for fair conditions for his fellow prisoners. After his release from jail in 1990, Mandela went on to win the presidency of South Africa in 1994. He served in that role until 1999.
Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 with former South African President F.W. de Clerk for their work against Apartheid. He would later earn an international day of service, Mandela Day, in his honor on his birthday every July 18.
President Obama made a short speech on Thursday from the White House acknowledging Mr. Mandela’s passing:
“I’m one of the countless Americans who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela … We will most likely not see the likes of [him] again … May God bless his memory and keep him at peace.”
Funeral arrangements are still pending. It has been confirmed that flags in South Africa will be flown at half mast through the time of Mr. Mandela’s state funeral.