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December 05, 2013

World Leaders Past and Present Remember Nelson Mandela

World leaders, past and present, are remembering anti-apartheid leader and former South African President Nelson Mandela.

In announcing his death to the world, South African President Jacob Zuma said the nation had lost its greatest son and called on South Africans to reaffirm Mr. Mandela's vision of a society where no one is exploited or oppressed.

Crowds gathered outside Mr. Mandela's Johannesburg home to sing and dance, paying their respects in the South African tradition.

At the White House, a solemn President Barack Obama called Mr. Mandela an influential, courageous, and profoundly good human being. Mr. Obama reflected on how President Mandela inspired him and said a free South Africa at peace is Mr. Mandela's greatest legacy.

Former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush also praised Mr. Mandela as a champion of freedom, human dignity, and equality.

Another former U.S. president, George H. W. Bush, called Mr. Mandela, "a man of tremendous moral courage, who changed the course of history in his country."

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he is profoundly saddened and called on people to be inspired by Mr. Mandela and keep working for a better and more just world.

British Prime Minister David Cameron emerged from 10 Downing Street to call Mr. Mandela a true global hero, saying a great light has gone out in the world.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called him a man of vision who rejected violence and was one of "the most honorable figures of our time."

A newscaster on state-run Chinese television said Nelson Mandela "belongs to people across the world" and left behind "enormous spiritual wealth."

Haitian President Michel Martelly said Mr. Mandela remains a "symbol of democracy" whose courage and "faith in the true struggle for equality" continue to guide mankind.