News of the death of former president Nelson Mandela was greeted with sadness by the Universal Society of Hinduism.

Johannesburg - News of the death of former president Nelson Mandela was greeted with sadness by the Universal Society of Hinduism on Friday.

Spokesman Rajan Zed said in a statement from Nevada, in the US, that Hindus offered their heartfelt condolences in the wake of his death.

“Mandela, who symbolised the victory of the human spirit, made huge contributions towards the creation of a just society and pursuance of social justice.”

He said Mandela was unique and brave, and set milestones for the world with his efforts in pluralism, common ground, equality, non-racialism, and co-existence.

Just before midnight on Thursday, President Jacob Zuma announced that Mandela, 95, had died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg.

On June 8, Mandela was admitted to hospital with to a recurring lung infection.

He was discharged from hospital on September 1 and returned to his Johannesburg home, where he received treatment by a medical team.

Zuma announced Mandela's death on the SABC.

“He passed on peacefully in the company of his family around 8.50pm on December 5. He is now resting, he is now at peace. Our nation has lost its greatest son,” he said.

Sapa