South African Nation Salutes Their Fearless Leader

Mourners absorb news of passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela.
3:00 | 12/05/13

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Transcript for South African Nation Salutes Their Fearless Leader
Was a nation absolute a life with fearlessness and forgiveness, a life that changed history. Abc's alex marquardt is right there as south african's in the are absorbing this news. Alex? Reporter: Good evening, diane. This country, south africa, has been plunged into a time of great sadness over the news of the death of a man so many affectionately called madiba. His death no great surprise but such a shock to this beacon of hope, this pillar of freedom is no longer with us. There are huge numbers of south africans who have gathered outside his home. They're dancing and singing struggle song from the apartheid era, the national anthem interspersed with moments of silence. There have been conflicting reports in recent weeks over the health of mandela. As late as tonight one of his daughters said that he was fine. This announcement was made late tonight, just before midnight. Now it's well after midnight. Many south africans will wake up to this tremendously sad news tomorrow when a period of national mourning will begin for what president zuma called south africa's greatest son. Thank you so much, alex. It's not that his deaths is a surprise but that we look back at his life and we are stunned with the effect that it had on this world.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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