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President, PM condole Nelson Mandela’s death

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New Delhi, Dec 6

President Pranab Mukherjee Friday condoled the death of Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa.

“President Mandela was a statesman, world leader and icon of inspiration of humanity. He was a great friend of India and his contribution for strengthening the close ties between our two countries will be always remembered,” he said.

Conveying his heartfelt condolences on the demise of the anti-aparthied icon, Mukherjee conveyed his condolences on behalf of the people and the Government of India.

“I convey heartfelt condolences on behalf of the people and the Government of India as well as my personal behalf to the family members of late president Mandela and the people and the Government of South Africa,” he said.

Mandela was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1990 in honour of his contribution to the friendship between the two countries.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday paid tributes to former South African president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela who died Thursday night at the age of 95.

“A giant among men has passed away. This is as much India’s loss as South Africa’s. He was a true Gandhian,” the prime minister wrote in a tweet.

“His life and work will remain a source of eternal inspiration for generations to come. I join all those who are praying for his soul,” he said.

In a statement on South African national TV, Zuma had announced that Mandela had “departed” and was at peace. “Our nation has lost its greatest son.”

Mandela had been receiving intense home-based medical care for a lung infection after three months in hospital. He led South Africa’s transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s, after having spent 27 years in prison, BBC reported. (IANS)