Stars have paid tribute to Nelson Mandela after he passed away Friday.
The South African political activist and former President died aged 95 at his home in Johannesburg, South Africa, surrounded by his family.
Mandela was for millions a symbol of hope and freedom for his battle to overcome apartheid in South Africa and win equal rights for black people, which saw him jailed between 1962 and 1990.
Current South African president Jacob Zuma broke the news of Mandela’s death, saying, ‘Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father,’ moving his worldwide audience to pay tribute to the political icon.
Morgan Freeman, who played the South African leader in the 2009 film ‘Invictus’, led the heartfelt tributes describing him as ‘a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind’.
The 76-year-old actor added, ‘As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we’ve come, but on how far we have to go’.
Music mogul Simon Cowell tweeted, ‘So sad to hear about Nelson Mandela. Rest in peace’.
Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie wrote, ‘Meeting Nelson Mandela at his house in Johannesburg was a truly memorable moment in life for me. He was an angel’.
Actor Samuel L Jackson said, ‘Never met a better person in my life than Nelson Mandela. My sympathy to his family & his country’.
Superstar Rihanna paid her respects via Instagram, writing, ‘One of the greatest men who’s ever lived!!! #Legend. We will never forget the things this man has taught us, and we will never truly comprehend the level of strength that it took for him to endure many of his years!! Thank you #Mandela (sic)’.
Retired footballer David Beckham took to Facebook last night to post a picture of himself and the former South African President, whom he met before an England vs South Africa friendly fixture in 2003, along with the words, ‘Thank you’.
He added on his page, ‘My heart goes out to the people in South Africa and Mr Mandela’s family. We have lost a true gentleman and a courageous human being. It was truly an honour to have known a man who had genuine love for so many people. Rest in peace (sic)’, reports contactmusic.com.
BDST: 1653 HRS, DEC 07, 2013