His homeland has begun a period of mourning, with flags soaring at half mast before 'Madiba' or 'Tata' as he was lovingly called, is taken to lie in state for three days in the capital Pretoria.
Nelson Mandela whose bravery in the face of persecution made him the most powerful symbol of the struggle against apartheid - past away last evening
Nelson Mandela whose bravery in the face of persecution made him the most powerful emblem of the labour against apartheid - died last evening
Mr Mandela passed away at home after a long fight against illness. He was 95. He is pictured here accompanied by his wife Winnie strolling out of Victor Verster Prison beside Cape village, a free man after 26 years of imprisonment
Mr Mandela passed away at his home after a long fight against sickness. He was 95.
Paying tribute: Mourners gather to sing and dance round a gigantic decorating of Nelson Mandela outside the home of the late South African president Nelson Mandela as the world digests life without Nelson Mandela
The president has said this morning she is 'deeply sad' to discover of Nelson Mandela's death, saying the previous South African leader 'worked tirelessly for the good of his country'.
'The Queen was profoundly sad to discover of the death of Nelson Mandela last evening. His legacy is the tranquil South Africa we glimpse today,' Buckingham castle said.
'Her Majesty recalls with great warmth her meetings with Mr Mandela and sends her genuine condolences to his family and the persons of South Africa at this very sad time.'
The Prince of Wales furthermore paid tribute to the previous South African foremost.
He said: 'Mr Mandela was the embodiment of bravery and reconciliation. He was also a man of large wit and had a genuine zest for life.
'With his transient, there will be an immense void not only in his family's lives, but furthermore in those of all South Africans and the many others whose inhabits have been altered through his fight for calm, fairness and flexibility.
Global leader: The United Nations Security Council observes a minute of silence upon the news of the noted peacemaker's death
'The world has lost an inspired foremost and a great man. My family and I are deeply sad and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.