(QHA) - One of the 20th century’s most monumental figures, the antiapartheid fighter and pro-democracy icon Nelson Mandela has passed away at age 95, BBC informs. South African President Jacob Zuma said Mandela died "peacefully," surrounded by his family, on the evening of December 5 at his Johannesburg home. "Our nation has lost its greatest son,"- Zuma said. Tributes have poured in from around the world, praising Mandela as an inspirational example of how the pursuit of peaceful reconciliation can triumph over decades of injustice. As reported, Mr Mandela led South Africa's transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s, after 27 years in prison for his political activities. After his release from imprisonment in 1990, Mandela became South Africa's first black, and first democratically elected, president in all-race elections in 1994. He is credited with helping prevent the country from falling into civil war after the end of the apartheid regime. In 1993, Mandela and the white South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work negotiating an end to apartheid. Mandela will receive a state funeral at the end of what's expected to be days of official mourning in South Africa.

QHA