NELSON Mandela, the revered icon of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and one of the towering political figures of the 20th century, has died aged 95.
President Jacob Zuma said his passing was the "moment of our greatest sorrow".
"He is now resting ... he is now at peace,'' a sombre Zuma said. "Our nation has lost its greatest son.''
Earlier, friends and relatives of ailing South African icon Nelson Mandela gathered at his Johannesburg home where the 95-year-old was said to be on his "deathbed".
Two of Mandela's granddaughters and a close family friend Bantu Holomisa were among those seen entering the house, which was flanked by more than a dozen cars ferrying visitors and military personnel.
The reason for the larger-than-usual gathering was not made public, but it came shortly after Mandela's daughter Makaziwe described her father as fighting from his "deathbed," but still being "very strong" and "very courageous".
"Even when there are moments when you can see he's struggling, the fighting spirit is still there with him," she said earlier this week.
Mandela had been receiving around the clock intensive care from military and other doctors since September, when he was discharged from a nearly three-month hospital stay for a lung infection.
More to come....