Mandela Family Releases First Statement Since Leader’s Death

Nelson Mandela Died On Thursday At The Age Of 95

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — In their first statement since his death, Nelson Mandela’s family says they’ve “lost a great man, a son of the soil.”

Lt. Gen. Temba Templeton Matanzima, a spokesman for the Mandela family, read the statement to journalists Saturday in Johannesburg.

The statement said: “The pillar of the royal Mandela family is no more with us physically, but his spirit is still with us.”

The statement went on: “We have lost a great man, a son of the soil whose greatness in our family was in the simplicity of his nature in our midst _ a caring family leader who made time for all and on that score we will miss him dearly.”

Mandela died Thursday at age 95.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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