South African President, Jacob Zuma, has just addressed the South African nation notifying them of the death of former President Nelson Mandela. Mr. Mandela was central to the movement that defeated apartheid in South Africa and has been widely heralded as one of the greatest human rights activists and political icons of the 20th and 21st Centuries. He was 95 years old when he passed today, December 5th, 2013.
Mr. Mandela had been in and out of the hospital since 2011. This year, in June, he was admitted for a lung infection, but was able to go back home in September. He passed away peacefully from complications stemming from years of failing health. He was surrounded by family and loved ones.
Nelson Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for his integral role in defeating the racist, oppressive and backwards apartheid regime, which ended with negotiations in 1990. Prior to the reconciliation process, Mr. Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years by the governing party in South Africa which held a monopoly over political power until 1990.