President Jacob Zuma made the announcement from the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Thursday night. He said Mandela passed away at 20:50 in his Houghton home surrounded by his wife, GraÃ§a Machel and members of his family.
Zuma said Mandela would have a state funeral and that the flags would fly half-mast from December 6 until after the funeral.
Mandela was hospitalised on June 8 with a recurring lung infection. Initial reports from the Presidency suggestedMandela was stable, although his condition was serious. But on June 23, the Presidency announced that Mandela’scondition had deteriorated and he was critical.
Court affidavits soon confirmed that the former statesman was on an assisted-breathing, life support machine. More reports emerged about Nelson Mandela in the days that followed, that he was in a “permanent vegetative state“, although the presidency denied these, maintaining that he was “critical yet stable”.