Remembering Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president

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South Africa’s first black president and renowned anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela died Thursday at age 95.

Tribune and wire reports
6:40 p.m. EST, December 5, 2013

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s beloved first black president and anti-apartheid hero, has died after suffering recurring lung infections that were the legacy of tuberculosis contracted in prison during his long fight against oppression, President Jacob Zuma said in a televised address late Thursday. He was 95.

Although out of the limelight in recent years because of the infirmities of age, Mandela, or Madiba, the clan name by which he was affectionately known to many South Africans, remained a revered symbol of the fight he led against the nation’s apartheid regime.

Mandela was admitted to a Pretoria hospital in June for the fifth time in two years. Although he was sent home three months later, family members said he had been living in a sterilized bedroom rigged as an intensive care unit with doctors tending to him around the clock.

Even on what his daughter, Makaziwe, termed his “deathbed,” Mandela remained an inspiration.

“He is teaching us lessons; lessons in patience, in love, lessons of tolerance,” she told the state-owned television network SABC this week.

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