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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

UWF South African students reflect on Mandela

Nelson Mandela, the revered former South African president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, died Thursday.

He was South Africa's first black president. He was also a former boxer, attorney and freedom fighter.

Mandela spent nearly one-third of his life as a political prisoner of apartheid, the legalized racist system of oppression controlled by South Africa's white minority. He spent the rest of his life fighting for human rights.

Mandela died peacefully with his family.     He was 95 years old.

Channel Three's Jenise Fernandez spoke with two students from South Africa who are studying at the University of West Florida and has their reaction.

We spoke with two students from South Africa. For them, Nelson Mandela wasn't just a leader, but an icon and beacon of hope. Growing up in South Africa, Nelson Mandela was a household name for Peggy De Villiers. He was a leader who every one admired and respected despite any political differences

"You could describe him as a religious figure.... praised him."

Kyle Lucas was shocked to hear about Mandela's death. He says, it's a sad day not only for his country, but for the entire world.

"Even though there was so much racism... how all races loved him."