Anti-Apartheid activist, Nelson Mandela has died. Madiba, as he is affectionately called in South Africa, passed away peacefully at his home Thursday in Johannesburg, South Africa. The former South African president is dead at 95 after being unwell for some time. The cause of death has not been released, according to a live CNN breaking news report on Dec. 5.
After Nelson Mandela's death was announced, the somber news blanketed the airwaves on network television, as one can imagine.
Madiba or Tata, Mandela's Xhosa clan name, which means "father," was hospitalized back in September for treatment of a lung infection. Reports at the time suggested Nelson Mandela passed away, but were discounted as another celebrity hoax or simply misinformation.
"He is now resting. He is now at peace," said current South African President Jacob Zuma.
There is a real sense that the Mandela family wants the funeral services to be dignified and a representation and celebration of the Democracy created from the activism of the former political prisoner.
Simply put, Mandela was a transformative figure, who assumed the presidency of the once-racially divided country in 1994 after serving nearly three decades in jail for his fight against Apartheid.
Despite being jailed for 27 years in three different prisons, Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison, Madiba championed efforts to unite the country after it lay shackled in racial animus.
When he was discharged from prisons, he declared that all citizens adopt peace and non-violence over oppression, similar to how Dr. Martin Luther King did for America during the Civil Rights Movement in the '60s.
Although Madiba died today, his legacy of freedom, peace, and resilience will live on in the countless generations he laid his life down for until freedom rang.
This story is developing.