South Africans are mourning the death of anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, the country's first black president, who died Thursday at the age of 95.
Many woke to the news Friday, hours after President Jacob Zuma announced Mr. Mandela "passed on peacefully" in the company of his family.
Dressed in black, Mr. Zuma made the statement in a nationally televised address that South Africa "has lost its greatest son and our people have lost a father."
He said flags will be flown at half staff and Mr. Mandela will be given a state funeral, which is expected to follow a period of national mourning.
Scores of world leaders and celebrities are expected to travel to South Africa for the funeral of Mr. Mandela, who was respected around the world for his activism.
Crowds have already gathered outside Mr. Mandela's home in Johannesburg, where people sang, danced, and paid their respects in the South African tradition.
Mr. Mandela spent nearly three decades in prison for his role in fighting to end white minority rule and official discrimination against blacks in South Africa.
After his release, he emerged as a revered symbol of peace and reconciliation and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. The following year, he became South Africa's first black president.
Mr. Mandela, who contracted tuberculosis during his nearly three decades of incarceration, was hospitalized repeatedly during the past several years, most recently for a recurring lung infection.