PARIS, Dec. 6-- French President Francois Hollande on Thursday extended his "sincere condolences" on the passing of Nelson Mandela, saying the legacy of the South African leader will continue to inspire freedom fighters.
In a statement released late Thursday, Hollande lauded Mandela as a "tireless fighter of apartheid" with "courage, persistence and perseverance."
Mandela's "message will not disappear and will continue to inspire freedom fighters and give confidence to the people who defend the right causes and universal rights," said the French president.
"He showed that the human can not only break the chains of slavery but release energies to successfully build a common destiny," he added.
Mandela died of illness on Thursday at his home in Johannesburg at the age of 95, South African President Jacob Zuma announced.