Nelson Mandela dies aged 95

The former South African leader has died, president Jacob Zuma has announced.

Nelson Mandela has died aged 95, it has been announced. 

He had been treated at home for a lung infection in recent weeks, after spending three months in hospital. 

The announcement was made by South African president Jacob Zuma, who said that "what made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves. Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell."

From the New Statesman's archives:

John Pilger, 2013: Mandela's greatness is assured, but not his legacy

Hedley Twidle, 2013: The last days of Nelson Mandela

Mamphela Ramphele: "Mandela said: never accept anyone telling you one sole organisation is the author of this freedom"

Nelson Mandela. Photo: Getty

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.

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En français, s'il vous plaît! EU lead negotiator wants to talk Brexit in French

C'est très difficile. 

In November 2015, after the Paris attacks, Theresa May said: "Nous sommes solidaires avec vous, nous sommes tous ensemble." ("We are in solidarity with you, we are all together.")

But now the Prime Minister might have to brush up her French and take it to a much higher level.

Reuters reports the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, would like to hold the talks in French, not English (an EU spokeswoman said no official language had been agreed). 

As for the Home office? Aucun commentaire.

But on Twitter, British social media users are finding it all très amusant.

In the UK, foreign language teaching has suffered from years of neglect. The government may regret this now . . .

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.