Former South African President and anti-apartheid revolutionary hero Nelson Mandela has died at his Johannesburg home. He was 95.
He had returned home on September 1 in a critical condition after being in a Pretoria hospital for almost three months – the fourth time he had been admitted to hospital since December. He had battled a series of lung infections and respiratory illnesses in the past few years.
Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison after being found guilty of being sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow his country’s government before being released in 1990, became South Africa’s first democratically elected president, holding office from 1994 to 1999.
One of the world’s most famous people, he has long been a figurehead for racial unification, following his efforts to heal his own country after centuries of division.
Mandela had a history of lung problems, after falling ill with tuberculosis in 1988 toward the tail-end of his prison term before his release and subsequent presidency.
While doctors said at the time the disease caused no permanent damage to his lungs, medical experts say tuberculosis can cause problems years later for those infected.
The Nobel laureate had an acute respiratory infection in January 2011.
After his departure from politics, Mandela also sought to step away from the public eye with appearances in recent years becoming fewer and farther between.
His last public appearance was in 2010 when South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup. Read more at STUFF.NO.NZ.