Tributes have been pouring in on Twitter, from all over the world, as news of Nelson Mandela's passing spreads on social media.
South African President Jacob Zuma confirmed to the country that Mandela, the iconic leader of post-apartheid South Africa, has died at the age of 95.
The death of the post-apartheid figurehead at his home in Johannesburg has sparked a huge outpouring of grief from every corner of the world.
The current President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, announcing the death of Mandela, said: "Our nation has lost its greatest son, our people has lost its father. Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss."
The African National Congress (ANC) said South Africa had lost "a colossus, an epitome of humility, equality, justice, peace and hope of millions."
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Mandela was "a source of inspiration" for the world. UK Prime Minister David Cameron said "a great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time."
A great light has gone out in the world. Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time. I've asked for the flag at No10 to be flown at half mast. — David Cameron (@David_Cameron) December 5, 2013
All flags in South Africa will be flown at half mast until Mandela's funeral takes place on 14 December. Reflecting this David Cameron said that flags over Downing Street will be flown at half mast as a mark of respect.
Head of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso tweeted: "#Mandela changed course of history for his people, country, continent & the world. My thoughts are w/his family & people of #SouthAfrica/JMB"
US President Barack Obama addressed the nation to pay tribute to Mandela's "fierce dignity" and say that he was "one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela."
President Obama added that Mandela's journey embodied the promise that human beings and countries can change for the better, saying he was personally inspired by him.
Former US President George W. Bush has said Mandela had borne his burdens with "dignity and grace" and "our world is better off because of his example. This great man will be missed, but his contributions will live on forever." Former US President Bill Clinton said in a statement: "Today the world has lost one of its most important leaders and one of its finest human beings... All of us are living in a better world because of the life that Madiba lived." US actor Morgan Freeman, who portrayed Mandela in a 2009 film, described him as "a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind. Madiba may no longer be with us, but his journey continues on with all of us." Billionaire philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates said: "From prisoner to president, Nelson Mandela was tireless in his pursuit of equality and justice for all people."
Every time Melinda and I met Nelson Mandela, we left more inspired than ever. His grace and courage changed the world. This is a sad day. — Bill Gates (@BillGates) December 5, 2013
A message from human rights orgainsation Amnesty International on Twiter acknowledged the political leader as "a true champion of human rights" and "an inspiration to every one of us."