Nelson Mandela has died, South African President Jacob Zuma has confirmed.
Mr Zuma said “the nation has lost its greatest son”, adding “he is now resting. He is now at peace.”
He died surrounded by his family at his Johannesburg home at 8.50pm local time.
Mr Mandela, who was 95, will get a state funeral and national flags will be lowered to half mast, said Mr Zuma.
He had been receiving medical treatment for the last three years and for the last six months has been critically ill.
Madiba – as he was affectionately known by many in South Africa – was released in 1990 and went on to guide his country to democracy.
“Nelson Mandela was a hero of our time. I’ve asked for the flag at No10 to be flown at half mast.”
US President Barack Obama said Mr Mandela was an “extraordinary man” whose journey from prisoner to president had inspired the world, as well as him personally.