Nelson Mandela is a character in our history that people will never forget. I feel like I've known of the hard work and perseverence of Mandela since I was in diapers. This man is a true testimony of what it is to live for people, and make change for others. Yesterday Nelson Mandela went on to be with the Lord at 95 years old, and I feel he had a life well lived.
Nelson Mandela, who guided South Africa from the shackles of apartheid to multi-racial democracy and became an international icon of peace and reconciliation.
Mandela will be laid to rest at his ancestral village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape on Dec. 15, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.
A week of national mourning would include an open-air memorial service at Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium - the site of the 2010 World Cup final - on Dec. 10, Zuma said.
Desmond Tutu said Friday that Mandela's legacy would carry on.
"The sun will rise tomorrow, and the next day and the next. ... It may not appear as bright as yesterday, but life will carry on," the retired Anglican bishop said in a statement.
"To suggest that South Africa might go up in flames -- as some have predicted -- is to discredit South Africans and Madiba's legacy," Tutu said, using Mandela's clan name, a term of affection and respect.
Imprisoned for nearly three decades for his fight against white minority rule, Mandela emerged determined to use his prestige and charisma to bring down apartheid while avoiding a civil war.
"The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come," Mandela said in his acceptance speech on becoming South Africa's first black president in 1994.
"We have, at last, achieved our political emancipation."
President Barack Obama hailed Mandela as a leader who left his country with a legacy of freedom and peace with the world.
"He achieved more than could be expected of any man," Obama said at the White House shortly after the announcement of Mandela's death.
"Today he's gone home, and we've lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth," Obama said.
Glory To The Highest