JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AP) - Walter Sisulu, the quiet giant of South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle for five decades, has died after a long illness. He was 90.
Sisulu died at 9 p.m. Monday at home in the arms of Albertina, his wife of nearly 59 years.
"His absence has carved a void. A part of me is gone," former President Nelson Mandela said in an impassioned statement lamenting the loss of his friend and confidant.
"During the past 62 years our lives have been intertwined. We shared the joy of living, and the pain.
"Together we shared ideas, forged common commitments. We walked side by side through the valley of death, nursing each other's bruises, holding each other up when our steps faltered. Together we savored the taste of freedom."
Flags at all government offices will fly at half-staff Wednesday, and President Thabo Mbeki said he will ask the Cabinet to hold a state funeral for Sisulu.
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