On December 5, 2013, Nelson Mandela, the first President of South Africa to be elected in a fully representative democratic election, as well as the country’s first black head of state, died at the age of 95 after a prolonged respiratory infection.
Mandela was born on 18 July 1918 in the village of Mvezo in Umtata, then part of South Africa’s Cape Province.
He earned a reputation under the clan name Madiba. His patrilineal great-grandfather, Ngubengcuka, ruled the Thembu Kingdom in the modern-day Eastern Cape province of South Africa’s Transkeian Territories. Nelson’s paternal grandpa and the origin of his last name was Ngubengcuka’s son, Mandela.
The descendants of Mandela’s cadet branch of the royal family were morganatic—ineligible to succeed to the throne but acknowledged as hereditary royal councilors—because he was the king’s child by a bride of the Ixhiba clan, a so-called “Left-Hand House.”
The first black president of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, was a South African anti-apartheid campaigner who presided over that country from 1994 to 1999. He was the first completely representative democratic election to elect a black head of state in the history of the nation. His administration concentrated on promoting racial harmony in order to erase the effects of apartheid. He presided over the African National Congress party from 1991 to 1997 and was an ideological socialist and African nationalist.
He died at around 20:50 local time (UTC+2) at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, surrounded by family. His death was announced by then-President Jacob Zuma on national television at 23:45.
Reactions from governments, international organizations, and notable individuals, gained worldwide media coverage.
South Africa observed a national mourning period of 10 days. During this time numerous memorial services were conducted across the country. The official memorial service held at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, on 10 December where the 95,000-seat stadium was two-thirds full because of the cold, rain, and transport challenges.
Nelson Mandela’s body lay in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria from 11 to 13 December 2013. A state funeral was held on 15 December 2013 in Qunu in the Eastern Cape, where his body was buried.