Former president Nelson Mandela. File photo: Independent Newspapers

Johannesburg - The Al Jama-Ah political party on Friday called on Muslims to say a silent prayer for former president Nelson Mandela, his family and friends.

“The greatest gift one can give to a human being is freedom and that is what Mandela did for all South Africans,” party leader Ganief Hendricks said in a statement.

“The party has asked all Muslims to observe all protocols as Muslim leaders from every Arab and Muslim country visit South Africa over the next two weeks to pay their respects to the country and comfort South Africans.”

He said the Muslim world had the highest regard for Mandela.

The party would pay tribute to Mandela by feeding the poor and participating in other programmes over the next week, said Hendricks.

President Jacob Zuma broke the news of Mandela's death in a televised announcement on Thursday night, saying the Nobel laureate died peacefully at his Houghton home in Johannesburg about 8.50pm.

“He is now resting,” said Zuma.

Flags around the country would be flown at half-mast from Friday until his funeral.