Friday morning, USA Today reported that President Obama is rearranging his schedule to make travel plans to attend Nelson Mandela’s funeral; a formal announcement is expected soon. Thursday, President Obama asked that American flags be flown at half mass until Monday to honor the former South African president. Thursday, President Obama called South African President Jacob Zuma to offer condolences.
Nelson Mandela died Thursday at age 95 after numerous battles with his health.
Thursday, a White House statement read:
"The President conveyed how profoundly Mandela's extraordinary example of moral courage, kindness, and humility influenced his own life, as well as those of millions around the world.
"President Obama reaffirmed that the strong and historic partnership between the United States and South Africa will continue to draw strength from Mandela's legacy as we work together to promote equality, reconciliation and human dignity, and to build a more just and prosperous world."
Most recently, Mandela had been having lung infection complications and made several trips to the hospital and stayed there for a length of time. Over the last decade, Nelson Mandela was rarely seen in public.
Nelson Mandela is a former president of South Africa and was best known for spending 27 years in prison in South Africa during apartheid.
In 1993, Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1994, Mandela became South Africa's first black president and served for five years. His last public appearance was during the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament when it was held in South Africa. He was imprisoned for 27 years in an attempt to fight racist white rule. Mandela was retired and lived in the village of Qunu.
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