CROYDON politicians and residents have paid tribute to Nelson Mandela, after it was announced the former South African president had died, aged 95. Mr Mandela's death was announced by current president Jacob Zuma just before 10pm last night(Thursday). South Africa's first black president had been ill for some time. The flag at the town hall is flying at half mast in honour of Mr Mandela and a book of condolence has been opened. People can sign the book in the foyer of the town hall in Katharine Street, Croydon on Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm. This and next weekend it will placed in the corporate reception of Bernard Weatherill House in Mint Walk and people can sign betweeen 9am and 5pm. After next weekend the book will be sent to the South African embassy in London. Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell said: "Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to people of all backgrounds and a shining example of all that is best in humanity. Rest in peace Madiba." Steve Reed, MP for Croydon North, said Mandela "defined our age and inspired our world with his courage and compassion." On Twitter, Croydon councillor Paul Smith said: "So sad to hear of the death of Nelson Mandela - a great South African and human being - a real peacemaker who lived forgiveness." Tom Brake, Lib Dem MP for Carshalton and Wallington, said Mandela was "a truly great man, who inspired generations around the world." Croydon Labour leader Tony Newman tweeted: "#NelsonMandela proud to have heard you speak at our conference, rest in peace." Another Croydon Labour councillor, Sean Fitzsimons, said: "Mandela changed world's politics through his willingness to forgive." Megan Groves, from New Addington, said: "An inspiration to many, a hero who sacrificed 27 of his life to what he believed in, we are truly grateful. Rest in Peace Nelson Mandela." Fieldway ward councillor Simon Hall said: "RIP Nelson Mandela. He brought freedom, democracy & reconciliation to the world's most divided country & then was an amazing world statesman."
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