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Nelson Mandela dies

Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid crusader and former South African president, died Dec. 5 at 95. We’re bringing you live updates here.

mandela mourner

A well-wisher writes on a poster in the street outside Mandela’s old house in Soweto, Johannesburg. (Ben Curtis/AP)

TIMELINE: The life of Nelson Mandela

LIVE REACTION: Remembering Mandela

PHOTOS: An extraordinary life

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The scene outside Mandela's house

Africa bureau chief Sudarsan Raghavan talked to WBUR from South Africa about the scene outside Mandela’s house in Johannesburg — and the prayers, songs and also some fears that are being voiced across the country.

Terri Rupar
December 6, 4:28 pm
  • Terri Rupar December 6, 4:28 pm

Winding down live updates

We’re winding down our live updates here. For the latest news, stay with The Washington Post throughout the day and beyond as we continue to report on reactions to Mandela’s death, reflections on his life and more.

Mark Berman
December 6, 12:10 pm
  • Mark Berman December 6, 12:10 pm

A high price for stumbling on HIV response

As the world remembers Nelson Mandela, The Post’s Craig Timberg discusses the former South African president’s hesitation to acknowledge the HIV epidemic spreading across Africa, which cost Mandela both politically and personally.

Natalie Jennings
December 6, 12:05 pm
  • Natalie Jennings December 6, 12:05 pm

'The power of forgiveness'

Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright honored Nelson Mandela on Friday by saying he taught the world the power of forgiveness.

“President Mandela was an activist, a prisoner of conscience, a political leader, a venerated statesman and he was, above all, a teacher,” Albright said. “He taught us that the power of forgiveness is greater than the power of hate.”

She added, “His presence on this earth will be sorely missed, but his lessons will endure in the hearts of millions.”

Albright made her comments at an awards ceremony in Washington, where former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton received the Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize.

— Philip Rucker

Mark Berman
December 6, 12:00 pm
  • Mark Berman December 6, 12:00 pm

Day of mourning in Cuba

A Cuban hangs a poster of Mandela and Fidel Castro. (Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images)

A Cuban hangs a poster of Mandela and Fidel Castro. (Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images)


Communist authorities in Havana ordered a national day of mourning for Mandela, calling him a “model revolutionary,” and broadcasting photos and videos of him embracing Fidel Castro during a visit to the island in 1991.

Mandela’s leftist roots made him a longtime sympathizer of Castro, and Mandela credited Cuba’s Cold War-era military interventions in Africa in the 1970s and 1980s as helping to defeat apartheid. Cuban troops fought directly against South African forces during the civil war in Angola, and Mandela said that news of Cuban battlefield victories reached him in his prison cell.

There was no immediate statement on his death from the ailing Castro, 87.

— Nick Miroff

Mark Berman
December 6, 11:55 am
  • Mark Berman December 6, 11:55 am

Colin Powell discusses Mandela's position on the terror list

Former U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell talked to the BBC’s Newshour about Mandela, sharing his experience at Mandela’s 1994 inauguration. He talked about the world leaders who were there, and waiting for Mandela’s arrival, “that magic moment which seemed to take forever.”

He also discussed Mandela’s position on the U.S. terror list.

“During those times when the ANC was bombing things and doing other violent acts, a case could be made that it was appropriate to put him on a terrorist list, and that’s what the United States did at that time,” he said. “But then things changed, as things often do in the world.”

Listen to the interview here:

Terri Rupar
December 6, 11:52 am
  • Terri Rupar December 6, 11:52 am

Obamas traveling to South Africa next week

President Obama and his wife Michelle will travel to South Africa next week to honor Nelson Mandela, the White House said Friday morning.

“President Obama and the First Lady will go to South Africa next week to pay their respects to the memory of Nelson Mandela and to participate in memorial events,” said press secretary Jay Carney. “We’ll have further updates on timing and logistics as they become available.”

Mandela’s funeral is expected to be held Dec. 15, a week from Sunday. But there will be events honoring the former South African president and leader all week long. Obama has long been expected to travel to South Africa to honor Mandela, who he calls an inspiration and hero.

— Zachary Goldfarb

Mark Berman
December 6, 11:48 am
  • Mark Berman December 6, 11:48 am

Syrian government and 'oppressors'

In a statement that was immediately met with derision from opposition activists and commentators, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is two and a half years into a civil war that began as a peaceful uprising against his dictatorial rule, on Friday said Mandela’s fight for freedom and justice should provide a lesson for the world’s oppressors.

“His history of struggle has become an inspiration to all the vulnerable peoples of the world, in the expectation that oppressors and aggressors will learn the lesson that in the end it is they who are the losers,” said a statement on the official Facebook page for the Syrian Arab Republic’s Presidency. Mandela would continue to be “a symbol of patience, resilience and liberation” after his death, it said.

— Loveday Morris

Mark Berman
December 6, 11:36 am
  • Mark Berman December 6, 11:36 am

From feared to revered

The Post’s Steven Mufson, author of “Fighting Years: Black Resistance and the Struggle for a New South Africa,” explains how Nelson Mandela used his time in prison to shape the future of South African politics, and the consistent leadership he showed even before he was globally revered.

Natalie Jennings
December 6, 11:22 am
  • Natalie Jennings December 6, 11:22 am

South African government sets up memorial page

The government of South Africa has established a page dedicated to Mandela, including information on the memorial service, funeral arrangements and more. The site includes speeches given by Mandela, videos of him and a message from President Jacob Zuma.

And the page links to a Facebook page for South Africa’s government, where people are invited to post condolences.

Mark Berman
December 6, 11:05 am
  • Mark Berman December 6, 11:05 am
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