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Berlusconi says Mandela was 'a hero of freedom'

Former premier praises former South African president

06 December, 13:44
Berlusconi says Mandela was 'a hero of freedom' (ANSA) - Rome, December 6 - Nelson Mandela was "a hero of freedom," ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi said Friday as tributes to the former South African president were heard around the world following his death.

"(Mandela's) teaching, his testimony, his strength of mind to never give up even when his forces appeared to be badly beaten, will be an example for all of us," said Berlusconi, who repeated his tribute on his Facebook page.

"I hope that many...learn to practice the reconciliation and truth in mutual respect that has been (Mandela's) greatest value, and his greatest victory".

The anti-apartheid leader who became South Africa's first black president died at age 95 on Thursday.