South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela has died aged 95 at his Johannesburg home, family and friends had gathered to pay their last respects to the iconic figure that inspired millions around the world.
South African president Jacob Zuma addressed the nation on live television to make the announcement that Mandela, or Mandiba as he is known in the country, had died at the age of 95.
"Let us conduct ourselves with the dignity and respect that Mandiba personified," said president Zuma, who ordered the country's flags to fly at half-staff, and announced a full state funeral for the anti-apartheid champion.
Mandela had been plagued by poor health in recent years. The former president has been in critical condition since June, suffering from a lung infection, in addition to severe stomach, prostate and eye problems.
The first black president of South Africa spent almost three months in a Pretoria hospital after being admitted in June and has been receiving intensive care from doctors since September, when he was discharged from hospital and returned home.
His grandson Ndaba recently told a local broadcaster that Mandela was "not doing well at home in bed."
Mandela's daughter Makaziwe said earlier that her father was fighting from his "deathbed."
"Even though you can see he is struggling, the fighting spirit is still there with him" she told South African Broadcasting television news.