Former president Nelson Mandela.

Johannesburg - Former president Nelson Mandela's death has left a permanent hole in the hearts of all people, First Rand Limited said on Friday.

“We all mourn the passing of this great yet humble man, who started South Africa on its path to global acceptance and participation and, through his self-sacrifice, showed the world what a resilient and resourceful nation we can be,” the bank's chief executive Sizwe Nxasana said in a statement.

“His passing leaves a permanent hole in the nation's hearts and we must work hard to continue his legacy of fortitude, reconciliation and unity.”

Nxasana said Mandela was a unique person and a role model for every leader in the world.

“I was very fortunate to meet Madiba on a number of occasions and while I am sad he has left us, his great legacy lives on,” he said.

“What is important now is that we celebrate his life and the impact he had on this great nation. We will miss him, but we will always remember him.”

Mandela died at his Houghton home in Johannesburg on Thursday night at the age of 95. - Sapa