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Politicians mark seven decades of struggle

Politicians and national leaders in all spheres have joined together to honour South Africa's fallen hero Nelson Mandela.

Politicians and national leaders in all spheres have joined together to honour South Africa's fallen hero Nelson Mandela.

In nearly seven decades spent fighting for freedom and equality, Mr Mandela had inspired and challenged the world.

And the world responded with sorrow and pride in equal measure.

Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan said the world had lost "a visionary leader, a courageous voice for justice and a clear moral compass."

Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: "God was good to us in South Africa by giving us Nelson Mandela to be our president at a crucial moment in our history.

"He inspired us to walk the path of forgiveness and reconciliation."

President Xi Jinping of China, which steadfastly supported the battle against apartheid throughout the cold war, praised Mr Mandela's victory in the anti-apartheid struggle and his huge contribution to "the cause of human progress."

And a reminder that Mr Mandela's struggle was not over came from US actor Morgan Freeman, who portrayed him in the film Invictus.

"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," he said.

And Mr Mandela was mourned in Cuba, which has long felt a close bond with the late South African leader.

Havana held him as a hero for steadily supporting it amid US attacks.

"Exceptional human being, example for the world, father of multiracial South Africa and the enduring friend of Fidel and Cuba," said journalist Juana Carrasco. "Long live Mandela."

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