Home Culture Nelson Mandela Dead at 95 The former South African president succumbs to longtime respiratory illness. By: Stephen A. Crockett Jr. Posted: Dec. 5 2013 5:26 PM 0 Nelson Mandela Thomas COex/Getty Images Former South African President and freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, known for his relentless stance against apartheid, has died at his Johannesburg home from a prolonged lung infection. He was 95. "Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father," South African President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday in a nationally televised address. "Nelson Mandela brought us together. And it is together that we will bid him farewell. Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss. His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world." Zuma said that South Africa's first black president will receive a state funeral, and flags will be lowered to half-mast from Dec. 6 until after the funeral.