Nelson Mandela - Live Blogs - Al Jazeera English

Nelson Mandela

World leaders gather as thousands of South Africans come out to remember the 95-year-old statesman, who died after a long battle with a lung infection.

  • EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Friday people around the world will never forget Mandela's example of courage and freedom.

    "There are some persons that we will never like to know that they have disappeared. Nelson Mandela was one of those persons, a great man that left his mark, not only in his native South Africa, not only in Africa, but all over the world. 

    "His name will be not only in history books, but in the hearts and minds of many people around the world that will never forget his example of courage and freedom, but also of tolerance and spirit of reconciliation. What a great example Nelson Mandela was, Nelson Mandela is, because his example will be bigger than death," Barroso said.

    Mandela died aged 95 at his Johannesburg home on Thursday after a prolonged lung infection, plunging his nation and the world into mourning for a man hailed by global leaders as a moral giant.

  • Al Jazeera's Tania Page reporting from Soweto, South Africa, on the reaction to the death of the democracy icon, Nelson Mandela. [Al Jazeera/Ted Regencia]
  • Share your Mandela memories

    Photo: Getty Images/ Chris Jackson 

    Al Jazeera is compiling your photos and videos with Nelson Mandela to share with everyone and online and they may feature on TV
    Please email these tributes, detailing where and when the images were taken, to:  

  • Mandela said that the system of apartheid robbed many children of their right to education and the joy of reading.

    He dedicated much of his charitable work to the needs of young people. He set up the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund among others.

    Let's listen to Mandela, in his own words, talking to a group of small children.

  • The World Mourns The Death Of Former South African President Nelson Mandela
    by Stuart C. Wilson (Getty Images News) via Getty Images on Fri Dec 06 2013
  • Vast sporting tributes for Nelson Mandela

    England cricketers observe a minutes silence to mark the passsing of former South African president Nelson Mandela on the second day of the second Ashes cricket Test match in Adelaide, Australia. [AFP Photo] 

    When it came to sport, Nelson Mandela had the ability to inspire even inspirational figures and leave global stars completely star-struck.

    The anti-apartheid leader, former South African president and Nobel Peace Prize winner died on Thursday at the age of 95, prompting a vast outpouring of tributes from the world's best known athletes and top sporting bodies.

    Muhammad Ali, himself a role model for so many, said Mandela inspired others to "reach for what appeared to be impossible."

    "What I will remember most about Mr. Mandela is that he was a man whose heart, soul and spirit could not be contained or restrained by racial and economic injustices, metal bars or the burden of hate and revenge," Ali said in a statement through his foundation.

    Pele wrote,  "He was my hero, my friend.'' 

    Tiger Woods called his meeting with Mandela in 1998 "inspiring times."

    "It's sad for everyone who got a chance to not only meet him, but I've been influenced by him,'' Woods said.

    Usain Bolt posted on Twitter: "One of the greatest human beings ever." 

    The NBA's LeBron James said: "In his 95 years, he was able to do unbelievable things not only for South Africa but for the whole world.''

    As much as sportsmen and women loved Mandela, he in turn loved sport and appreciated its enormous potential to do good. Nowhere more than in his own country, where he famously used the 1995 Rugby World Cup to knock down the last barriers of apartheid.

    "A remarkable man who understood that sport could build bridges, break down walls, and reveal our common humanity,'' International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said in a statement to The Associated Press. The IOC would fly the Olympic flag at half-staff for three days for Mandela, he said. [AP]

  • Photo: Getty Images/ Gareth Davies 

    Share your Mandela memories

    Al Jazeera is compiling your photos and videos with Nelson Mandela to share with everyone and online and they may feature on TV

    Please email these tributes, detailing where and when the images were taken,  
  • Instagram user Zaynub posts family photo with Nelson Mandela as a tribute to the departed South African leader.

    by Zaynub via Instagram edited by Jillian Kestler-D'Amours 12/6/2013 12:03:44 PM
  • Nelson Mandela dances to the Corrs music

  • Photo: AFP/ Alexander Joe 

    Share your Mandela memories

    Al Jazeera is compiling your photos and videos with Nelson Mandela to share with everyone and online and they may feature on TV

    Please email these tributes, detailing where and when the images were taken,  

  • Photo:  Sandra Van Wyk

    My little time with Madiba

    Al Jazeera viewer Sandra Van Wyk, former HR manager at the  Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF), remembers sharing birthday tea with Nelson Mandela.
    I had a
    privilege to work at the Nelson Mandela Foundation from 2003 to 2006.
    I can
    only imagine how the staff at the NMF feel about Mr Mandela's passing.
    Many of
    them were probably closer than most people to him because they had daily
    interactions with him.

    In the picture are my ex colleagues and I at a
    birthday tea for Madiba.
    What an awesome picture, one of many, and what awesome
    Rest in peace Madiba!

  • Mandela to be laid to rest on December 15, President Zuma says
  • Mandela would be buried in his ancestral home of Qunu in South Africa's Eastern Cape, President Zuma says
  • Mandela's national memorial service is set to be held at Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium on December 10, President Zuma says
  • Featured Documentary - I Knew Mandela

  • Remembering Madiba

    Al Jazeera viewer Dr Deena Padayachee met Nelson Mandela at the Durban City Hall, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa, in October 1991.

    I am a medical doctor and author and I gave him a copy of the book, New Contrast , which had included a story I wrote about the Gandhi Ashram. This Phoenix Ashram located between Kwa Mashu and the township of Phoenix  was  destroyed on August 9, 1985.

  • Share your Mandela memories

    Al Jazeera is compiling your photos and videos with Nelson Mandela to share with everyone and online and they may feature on TV

    Please email these tributes, detailing where and when the images were taken,  

  • Photo: Halima Sindhi  

    Remembering a man of great spiritual elegance

    Al Jazeera viewer Halima Sindhi remembers when Nelson Mandela joined in during a Muslim prayer in South Africa in the 1990s. 

    It just shows the amount of respect he had for different religions. 

    Your legacy will live on forever Tata! We as your children of this nation will miss you dearly!

  • A warm greeting that left a big impression on a little boy
    Photo: Arwa Al Tal  

    Al Jazeera viewer Arwa Al Tal recalls the moment Nelson Mandela met her son Asim Wadah Khanfar, then aged three, when he found his way to the stage the moment Madiba came into the hall at the UNISA in Pretoria to address the International Solidarity Day with Palestinian People on November 25, 1998. 

     Mandela greeted Asim warmly, and Asim later came back again and handed him the Labanah sandwich that was in his hand. 
    It was a wonderful moment, received by the audience with clapping and excitement.

  • How Mandela prison number became a brand

  • Photo: EPA/ Steffen Schmidt  

    Share your Mandela memories

    Al Jazeera is compiling your photos and videos with Nelson Mandela to share with everyone and online and they may feature on TV

    Please email these tributes, detailing where and when the images were taken,  
  • Tributes to the father of the rainbow nation

    Photo: EPA/ Kim Ludbrook 
    Schedule of arrangements for the laying to rest of Nelson Mandela, as announced by South African President Jacob Zumaand the government communications office on Friday.

    Sunday, December 8: National day of prayer and reflection. 
    "We call upon all our people to gather in halls, churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and in their homes for prayer services and meditation, reflecting on the life of Madiba and his contribution to our country and the world," Zuma said, using Mandela's clan name.

    Tuesday, December 10: Official memorial service at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. 
    Mandela's last public appearance was at the same stadium in 2010 for the closing ceremony of the soccer World Cup. For the tournament the stadium was called Soccer City.

    Wednesday, December 11 to Friday, December 13: Mandela's body to lie in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. 
    During these days, official memorial services will also be held in all provinces and regions.

    Sunday, December 15: State funeral and burial at Qunu, Eastern Cape Province.


  • President Karzai's remarks on Nelson Mandela's death

  • Legacy of the father of a nation

    Al Jazeera viewer Fareed Kalo has shared the moment he captured his wife, Shakera Kaloo, pictured seated front right, and her students at a Nelson Mandela Children's Fund ceremony.

    It holds special meaning to me because it truly symbolises his love for children and education. 
    Taken in his last years of being, the strength and courage it required to make effort to spend a day with learners and children is truly remarkable.  

    Photo: Fareed Kalo  

    This is  why he was always smiling when surrounded by the youth.
  • Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Nelson Mandela’s fight for freedom and justice provides a lesson for the world’s oppressors.

    His history of struggle has become an inspiration to all the vulnerable peoples of the world, in the expectation that oppressors and aggressors will learn the lesson that in the end it is they who are the losers

    His statement was posted on the official Facebook page of the Syrian Arab Republic’s Presidency on Friday.

  • President Barack Obama will travel to South Africa next week to participate in memorial events for Nelson Mandela, the former South African president who died on Thursday.

    Obama's exact schedule was as yet unclear, the White House said. It was not yet known whether Obama would give public remarks while in South Africa.

    "President Obama and the first lady will go to South Africa next week to pay their respects to the memory of Nelson Mandela

    and to participate in memorial events. We'll have further 
    updates on timing and logistics as they become available," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. 
  • Al Jazeera viewer Heidi Dennis-Manus sent us a picture of her seated next to Mandela and described the several encounters between the two.

    met Madiba in 1995 when friends from a colored organization-The
    Community  Youth Movement- were invited to his Presidential home for
    He chose the seat right next to me! What
    an amazing honour to be seated next to the greatest man on earth.
    meeting led to a few more dinners at Genaadendal, dinners at Tuinhuis, a
    visit to the school where I was teaching at the time, two visits for
    tea at my parents home in Elsies River Cape
    Town and mention of me in the Sequel to a Long Walk to Freedom.

    Thank you Madiba for inviting me into your life.
    I will miss you.

  • In a special edition of the Al Jazeera Magazine, we profile the life and times of Nelson Mandela - anti-apartheid freedom fighter, political prisoner, global leader and one of the most inspiring icons of our age.

    Free download here:

  • [Reuters] 

    Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Friday praised the life of South Africa's late leader Nelson 
    Mandela, whom she hailed as "a giant among us."

    Clinton, who was accepting a prestigious human rights award in Washington,
    focused on Mandela's death, saying Americans and others should use his towering moral authority as a compass to improve conditions worldwide.

    "We meet on the day after the loss of a giant among us," said Clinton, who recalled how she first met Mandela in 1992 and again on subsequent occasions, including when she was America's top diplomat.

    Mandela, who died at age 95, was "someone who by the power of his example demonstrated unequivocally how each of us can choose how we will respond to those injustices and grievances, those sorrows and tragedies that afflict all of humankind," she told hundreds of guests at a Capitol Hill ceremony.

    Clinton became the first woman recipient of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize, named after the Holocaust survivor and US congressman who died in 2008.

    Clinton, 66, noted that Mandela and Lantos were both born into oppression - Lantos in Nazi-era Hungary, Mandela in apartheid South Africa - and overcame "the worst that humanity can offer."

    Their commitment to human rights transcended borders and inspired Clinton to embark on her quest to improve conditions for women around the world. 

  • "A giant has fallen"

    Maya Angelou, who first met Nelson Mandela in the early 1960s, praised him as a great man worthy of comparison to another icon she knew, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

    "Our planet has lost a friend,'' the author and poet said on Friday during a telephone interview.

    Angelou was a journalist in Egypt, living with South African activist Vusumzi Make, when Mandela visited them.

    She remembered him as handsome and funny and unusually generous with compliments, able to get along with the varying groups of political opponents to South Africa's apartheid regime.

    Mandela was imprisoned in 1964, but their friendship resumed in the 1990s after his release, she said.

    "He was kind to everybody,'' she said.

    The US Department of State later on Friday released a video of Angelou reciting a new poem, "His Day is Done,'' in which she mourned Mandela's death, praised him as a modern Gideon and, in one passage, marveled at his endurance of racism and imprisonment:

    Would the man survive?
    Could the man survive?
    His answer strengthened men and women around the world.

    Angelou learned of Mandela's death Thursday just hours after she heard of another friend's passing.

    "This is a very heavy time,'' she said sadly during her phone interview.

    "A giant has fallen.''


  • People pay respects in South Africa and beyond
    The Apollo Theatre in the Harlem area of New York [Reuters]
    Outside the Grand Parade in Cape Town, where Mandela made his first speech as a free man in 1990 [AP] 
    Memorial outside the South African mission to the UN in New York [Reuters]
     Remembrance ceremony Bijlmer Park theater in Amsterdam, the Netherlands [AFP]
    People sing and hold candles outside the South African mission to the UN in New York [Reuters]
    Young South Africans release 95 balloons representing the 95 years of life enjoyed by Mandela in Johannesburg [Reuters]
    Mourners gather at the Grand Parade in Johannesburg [AFP]  
    Flowers and tributes at London's Trafalgar Square [Reuters]
    South Africans gather outside his home in Houghton, Johannesburg [Reuters]
    People light candles outside his home [Reuters] 
    A couple outside the former President's home [Reuters] 
    South Africans light candles outside his home [Reuters] 
    A flag is lowered to half mast at the South African embassy in Berlin [AFP] 

    1 of 13

    Nelson Mandela's memorial on Tuesday at Johannesburg's FNB Stadium promises to be one of the largest such gatherings in generations.

    If history is a guide, dozens of other presidents, prime ministers and royals are also expected to pay their respects.

  • The Empire State building is lit up in the colours of the South African flag [Reuters]

    Nelson Mandela may have lived and died on the other side of the planet, but New York paid warm tribute to a man it welcomed as a hero at a ticker-tape parade in 1990.

    America's biggest city with its brash consumerism, glitzy clubs and breakneck pace, could not have been further from Mandela's time in prison but like so many, it claimed him as its own.

    Flags were lowered to half-mast at City Hall and on New York State buildings, as well as at the United Nations.

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced on Friday that a new high school, the Nelson Mandela School for Social Justice, would open its doors in September on the campus Mandela visited in 1990 in Brooklyn.

    He invited New York's 8.4 million residents to honor Mandela's legacy by volunteering for community service this weekend.

    The Apollo Theater, a feted venue for African-American performers in Harlem, announced his death over its marquee: "In memory of Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013. He changed our world."

    Mandela and his then wife Winnie visited Harlem in 1990.

    "His triumphant story of fighting against the South African government for their racist policies resonated deeply with the Harlem community," the theater said in a statement.

    "It was an honour to have Mr Mandela visit us in Harlem and we send our condolences to Mr. Mandela's family, friends and supporters around the world," it added.

    A three-minute video installation showing some of Mandela's most famous words and teachings were due to be broadcast on electronic billboards at Times Square every 30 minutes throughout the weekend.

  • SLEEP WELL MADIBA. Sand artist #SudarsanPattnaik, at the Golden Sea Beach Puri.

  • Obama, other world leaders to honour Mandela as South Africa mourns

    South Africa has begun preparations to host US President Barack Obama and other world leaders eager to pay their respects to Nelson Mandela during 10 days of mourning for the anti-apartheid icon.

    Obama, America's first black president, will travel to South Africa next week, the White House said, joining a raft of world leaders for a huge December 10 memorial service.

    Mandela's body will lie in state in Pretoria for three days before he receives a state burial on December 15 in his boyhood home of Qunu.

    The logistics are daunting for hosting the great and the good who plan to fly in from around world to honour the universally respected statesman.

    Memorial events begin Saturday with thousands expected at a wreath-laying event in a Johannesburg park.

    Obama and his wife Michelle will travel to South Africa together with former first couple George W. and Laura Bush.

    Ex-president Bill Clinton, who was in office when Mandela took power to become South Africa's first black president, also said that he would be making the trip with his family. [AFP]
  • Al Jazeera asked people in South Africa: "What does Nelson Mandela mean to you?", and they spoke from the heart.

  • British newspapers with headlines about the death of South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela outside of a news agent in London, December 6, 2013. [Reuters]
  • For decades, the United States was steadfast in its support of the apartheid government of South Africa.

    But experts say it all changed when activists and the congressmen saw videos of what was really happening.

    Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane reports.

    US activists pay tribute to Mandela
    by Al Jazeera English via YouTube

  • South Africans are preparing to say goodbye to the anti-apartheid icon on December 10 which is set for Mandela's official memorial services. His remains will then lie in state at the seat of government in Pretoria for 3 days. 

    But even before then, South Africans will have the chance to remember the man who changed their country forever.

    Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports from Soweto.

    South Africans set to bid Mandela farewell
    by Al Jazeera English via YouTube

  • A father photographs his daughter on Vilakazi Street in Soweto, where the late South African President Nelson Mandela resided when he lived in the township. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko 
    A man holds a placard on Vilakazi Street in Soweto, where the former South African President Nelson Mandela resided when he lived in the township. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko 

    1 of 2

  • Mandela's village awaits the final return of their son

    In Nelson Mandela's childhood village of Qunu residents are solemnly preparing for the final return of their beloved son, who will be laid to rest among them a week from now.

    Elderly men in the picturesque village dotted with traditional round huts bow their heads and lower their voices when they speak of the anti-apartheid hero who has "returned to his ancestors".

    Here there has been no explosion of public emotion as seen in Johannesburg, no singing to celebrate Mandela's 95 years, no all-night vigils.

    His home, overlooking the hills and valleys of the Eastern Cape -- where Mandela said he spent his happiest childhood days -- is sombre and eerily quiet.

    "We are in mourning, he deserves our greatest last respects," said Chief Mfundo Mtirara, Mandela's nephew.

    Mtirara had the difficult task of breaking the news of Mandela's death to some close relatives.

    "A great man is gone, we are deeply saddened, even though we knew that this day would come," he  said.

    "He deserved our respects while he was still alive, we are going to continue to give him that respect even in death," said Mtirara, who lives near Mandela's homestead. [AFP]
  • Nearly quarter of a century ago, the then president of South Africa Frederik Willem De Klerk decided to end Nelson Mandela's captivity.

    He spoke to Al Jazeera on the phone from Cape Town.

    FW de Klerk speaks of Mandela's legacy
    by Al Jazeera English via YouTube
  • People from all walks of life/ nationalities/ races came to say their goodbye to #Madiba the great last night at his statue in the City of Westminster, London. Such was the calibre of the man. "It always seems impossible, until it's done". #goodbye #Godspeed #mandela #95years #inspiration #gonebutnotforgotten #Tata #Madiba #Amandla #lestweforget

  • Mandela funeral cortege to process through Pretoria

    Nelson Mandela's funeral cortege will travel through the streets of the capital Pretoria, the South African government said Saturday, encouraging people to line the route.

    "Every morning, when the remains leave the mortuary to the lying in state, those routes will be made public," said government spokesman Neo Momodu. 

    Mandela's remains will lie in state at the Union Buildings -- the official seat of the South African government -- on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

    The lying in state is part of a larger ten-day remembrance of the former president, who died on Thursday aged 95.

    On December 9, both houses of parliament will be recalled from recess for a special joint sitting in honour of Mandela's legacy.

    The following day a memorial service will be held at a 90,000-plus capacity stadium in Soweto.

    The "Soccer City" stadium hosted the 2010 World Cup final where Mandela made his last major public appearance.

    Mandela will be buried on December 15 in Qunu, a town in the Eastern Cape, the hilly rural area where he grew up. [AFP]
  • South African journalist Shaun Johnson, director of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation, talks to Al Jazeera's David Foster, about how he got to know the iconic leader. Johnson had known Mandela for 23 years, and was one of the very first people Mandela asked to interview him.

  • South Africa Mourns Death Of Nelson Mandela
    by Jeff J Mitchell (Getty Images News) via Getty Images on Sat Dec 07 2013
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