Official word from South African officials says that former South African President Nelson Mandela has passed away at the age of 95. The announcement was made just before 5pm e.s.t.
With little explanation for the large contingent, there were rumours that the 95-year-old’s ailing health had once again taken a turn for the worse.
One family friend said he had been told Mr Mandela’s condition had “deteriorated quite a bit”, but could not give further details. “Things are quite gloomy,” he added.
Mandela became South Africa’s first President in 1994. He also later won the Nobel Peace Prize.