How and when did Nelson Mandela die

South Africa: Nelson Mandela is dead

The South African national hero Nelson Mandela is dead. The 95-year-old died on Thursday, said South African President Jacob Zuma in Johannesburg on a national TV program. "Our nation has lost its greatest son." He fell asleep peacefully. "Nelson Mandela brought us together and together we say goodbye to him," said Zuma. He died at his home in Johannesburg at 8:50 p.m. local time.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who was imprisoned for 27 years for his fight against the racist apartheid regime, was considered a symbol of freedom and humanity around the world. Mandela paved the way for reconciliation between blacks and whites in his home country and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. In 1994 he became the first president of democratic South Africa and remained in this office until 1999.

In the summer, Nelson Mandela was treated for severe pneumonia in the Medi-Clinic-Heart-Hospital in the South African capital. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate had spent the last weeks of his life with his family.

For many months it was officially said that Mandela was "in a stable but critical condition". Mandela's ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, reported three weeks ago that the 95-year-old could no longer speak. "He communicates through his face," she said. Mandela is still inspiring "even on the deathbed", his eldest daughter said on Tuesday on the SABC television channel. "I think he's still teaching us. Teaching with patience, teaching with love, teaching with tolerance," said Makaziwe Mandela.

Nelson Mandela is said to be buried in his hometown of Qunu in the southeast of the country. Observers expect that state mourning will be declared in South Africa. Numerous heads of state and government from all over the world are expected to attend the celebrations, which will presumably take place in five to seven days.

The ex-president had been hospitalized four times within six months. In December 2012, he underwent gallstone surgery. Subsequently, Mandela suffered a respiratory infection. In April, he was hospitalized for ten days with pneumonia.

After the patient was returned to the clinic at the beginning of June, the President's Office reported several times of life-threatening crises. At times, the 95-year-old is said to have been artificially ventilated and dialysis because of kidney failure. The doctors had offered the family to decide whether to switch off the life support devices, the media reported.

The increasingly frail national hero had not spoken out in public for many years. His last public appearance was at the closing ceremony of the World Cup in July 2010 in Johannesburg.