South Africa’s first black president and the man who was instrumental in the abolition of apartheid passed away peacefully on Thursday.

Former South Africa president Nelson Mandela died yesterday evening at home in Johannesburg. He was 95. The news was broken on state television by the current president Jacob Zuma, who announced that Mandela had departed and was at peace.

“Our nation has lost its greatest son,» said Mr Zuma, adding that flags would be flown at half-mast in respect for the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize winner and man who played in a key role in the termination of the apartheid regime. The South African government confirmed that a full state funeral would be held.

«What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves,» Mr Zuma added. «Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell.»