Flags fly at half-mast across the globe

Countries around the world are paying their respects to former President Nelson Mandela.

Countries around the world are paying their respects to former President Nelson Mandela. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Flags are flying at half-mast across the globe as millions mourn the death of Nelson Mandela.

The revered statesman and Nobel Peace Prize winner died peacefully at his home in Houghton in northern Johannesburg just before 9pm last night.

President Jacob Zuma announced his passing to the nation and the world just before midnight.

"Fellow South Africans, our beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding President of our democratic nation, has departed."

Memorials are expected to be held in South Africa and the rest of the world.

South African motorists are also driving with their lights on to pay their respects.

Further information is expected to be announced at the Union Buildings later today.

Venezuela and Tanzania have declared three days of national mourning for the global icon.


Flags have been lowered to half-mast at Constitution Hill following an order by President Jacob Zuma last night.

It was here at the Y section of Johannesburg's notorious Old Fort Prison on the same site as Constitution Hill where Mandela and 155 others were held following their arrest in 1956.

They were subsequently found not guilty of treason.

People have been dropping off photographs of Madiba at the entrance of the court and officials say they expect more visitors today.


French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said all French flags will fly at half-mast in tribute to Mandela.

Embassy of France will fly the French flag at half-mast today, Thursday 23 August 2012 http://t.co/H9oGkF9N pic.twitter.com/Yd1G4fwX

Ayrault praised the late anti-apartheid leader as an "extraordinary man".

"All humanity is in mourning. France joins in this mourning. She stands alongside the South Africans who are crying today for this great man."

He said Mandela fought with courage for justice and against the evil of apartheid.

"It is with respect and humility that I bow to the memory of this extraordinary man, who will long be an inspiration to all of humanity."

The Eiffel Tower in Paris has been lit up in the colours of the South African flag.

Tributes like these from all over the world! #Paris #France #Eiffeltower pic.twitter.com/GK66Xk72IO


President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered flags to fly at half-staff at the White House and public buildings including military posts, US foreign missions, naval stations and military vessels.

Obama said he was ordering flags to be lowered as a "mark of respect for the memory of Nelson Mandela".

Flags will be flown at half-mast until sunset on Monday.

Even the flag at the White House is half mast, such power #RIPNelsonMandela #RIPtata pic.twitter.com/8apqfJUIrY

Outside the South African embassy in DC: flag is at half-mast and the statue of Mandela throws a big shadow pic.twitter.com/3grewjLRBx

"Today, the United States has lost a close friend, South Africa has lost an incomparable liberator, and the world has lost an inspiration for freedom, justice, and human dignity - Nelson Mandela is no longer with us, he belongs to the ages."

Obama said Mandela transformed South Africa and moved the entire world.

"While we mourn his loss, we will forever honour Nelson Mandela's memory. He left behind a South Africa that is free and at peace with itself. And his memory will be kept in the hearts of billions who have been lifted up by the power of his example."


British Prime Minister David Cameron said "a great light had gone out", adding that flags would be flown at half-mast at 10 Downing Street.

In a live televised address, British Prime Minister David Cameron described Madiba as a selfless freedom fighter who inspired the world.

"Tonight one of the brightest lights of our world has gone out. Nelson Mandela wasn't just a hero of our time, but a hero of all time. The first president of a free South Africa, a man who suffered so much for freedom and justice and a man who through his dignity and triumph, inspired millions."

Cameron said his nation mourns with South Africa's and his people share the country's loss.

"The strongest impression of all when you met him was of his extraordinary compassion, generosity and forgiveness. Your greatest son has moved millions and I believe that his inspiration for the future will be every bit as powerful as the extraordinary things he achieved in his remarkable life."

Flags across public buildings are also being flown at half-mast across the rest of the UK.

Windsor Christmas tree and Windsor Castle's flag flying at half mast in the background. pic.twitter.com/hEjBVQJbMp

The flag of South Africa flies at half mast on the roof of the Cabinet Office in London's Whitehall... pic.twitter.com/i0CqDwwKvU


World soccer body FIFA has also ordered flags to be flown at half-mast and a minute's silence to be held before the next round of international matches.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, in Brazil for Friday's draw for the 2014 World Cup, paid tribute to someone he called an extraordinary person.

"It is in deep mourning that I pay my respects to probably one of the greatest humanists of our time and a dear friend of mine: Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela."

Mandela's last major appearance on the global stage came at those 2010 World Cup finals, the first to be hosted on African soil, when he attended the final in Soweto to a thunderous ovation from the 90,000 strong crowd.


Flag at half-mast at British Embassy in Moscow this morning. #Mandela pic.twitter.com/UklIf95HtN

Arrived in Kuwait. Flag at our Embassy at half mast. #RIPNelsonMandela pic.twitter.com/lf2xUEBccW

The British Embassy Tokyo flag flies at half mast today in honour of Nelson #Mandela pic.twitter.com/APZjqmWsM6

South Africa's flag flies at half mast at the High Commission in Canberra #mandela pic.twitter.com/qsirIi8ZVy