World Mourns Death Of Nelson Mandela

South African president Jacob Zuma and U.S. president Barack Obama speak on the passing of Nelson Mandela.

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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.


And I'm Robert Siegel.

UNIDENTIFIED MOURNERS: (Singing and clapping hands) Nelson Mandela...

SIEGEL: Outside the home of former South African President Nelson Mandela tonight, songs to commemorate the man who led the country out of apartheid and into democracy. Nelson Mandela died today at the age of 95. In announcing Mandela death, South Africa's current president, Jacob Zuma, called Mandela South Africa's greatest son. And he said: This is the moment of the country's deepest sorrow.

PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA: Our thoughts are with the South African people who today mourn the loss of the one person who, more than any other, came to embody their sense of a common nationhood. Our thoughts are with the millions of people across the world who embraced Madiba as their own, and who saw his cause as their cause.

BLOCK: That's South African President Jacob Zuma. At the White House, President Obama said he is among the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela. Obama mentioned that his own first political act was a protest against apartheid.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Madiba transformed South Africa, and moved all of us. His journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings and countries can change for the better. His commitment to transfer power, and reconcile with those jailed him, set an example that all humanity should aspire to.

BLOCK: And President Obama added this: He no longer belongs to us; he belongs to the ages.

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