Baltics mourn death of Nelson Mandela

  • 2013-12-06
  • By TBT staff, RIGA

Nelson Mandela was South Africas first black president

Tributes have poured in for Nelson Mandela after the South African icon passed away on Dec. 5

Mandela, South Africa's first black president, passed away at home in his sleep after undergoing intensive care. He was 95 years old.

World leaders have been leading tributes for the icon.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said: "Nelson Mandela was and will always be the source of the inspiration for all people in the world who are fighting for the democracy, the human rights and the equality

Linas Linkevicius, Lithuanian Foreign Minister also added: "We mourn the passing of great man, icon of freedom & equality. Rest in peace Mandela. Our thoughts are with family and people across the world,"

Outgoing Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis said: "My respects to Nelson Mandela, a great statesman and freedom fighter."

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (July 1918 - 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary who was imprisoned and then became a politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

He was the first black South African to hold the office, and the first elected in a fully representative, multiracial election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalized racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation.

Politically an African nationalist and democratic socialist, he served as the President of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1991 to 1997. Internationally, Mandela was the Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement from 1998 to 1999.