Nelson Mandela death: 'We have lost a great man,' family says in statement

JOHANNESBURG - In their first statement since his death, Nelson Mandela's family says they've "lost a great man, a son of the soil."

Lt. Gen. Temba Templeton Matanzima, a spokesman for the Mandela family, read the statement to journalists Saturday in Johannesburg.

The statement said: "The pillar of the royal Mandela family is no more with us physically, but his spirit is still with us."

The statement went on: "We have lost a great man, a son of the soil whose greatness in our family was in the simplicity of his nature in our midst -- a caring family leader who made time for all and on that score we will miss him dearly."

Mandela died Thursday at age 95.

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