South Africa's first black president Mandela, who died on Thursday, was an icon for ending the much-reviled apartheid system, a colossus who strode over world politics and a staunch Gandhian. He was 95Bollywood celebrities Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Shabana Azmi, Satish Kaushik and others paid their tributes to the Nobel Peace Prize winner via micro-blogging site Twitter:

Amitabh Bachchan:
Nelson Mandela - a giant of a man of will, belief and perseverance, passes away. But leaves behind a legacy of fight for right! I had the greatest honour to meet and spend time with him on two occasions. His humility his greatest asset, among countless other!

Shabana Azmi: Privileged to have met Mandela twice. Gentle giant. The world has lost its tallest leader but his presence will remain.

Akshay Kumar:
A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. Couldn't be more true... RIP Nelson Mandela.

Satish Kaushik: Salute to a great statesman and torch bearer of peace and harmony. His teachings will keep humanity alive always. RIP Nelson Mandela.

Kabir Bedi: Death immortalizes Nelson Mandela's life. Epic journey from violence to non-violence, prisoner to president and statesman. RIP Nelson Mandela.

Daler Mehndi:
My salute to the hero Nelson Mandela. May God give him comfort.

Shruti Haasan: RIP Nelson Mandela - a soul that travels with light and purpose wherever that purpose may lead.

Suchitra:
Blessed to have had the honour of meeting you Madiba. You leave the world a better place. RIP Nelson Mandela.

Vishal Dadlani:
Nelson Mandela, RIP. 'Madiba' to his people, and a prophet of peace, to the world. We need his message, now, more than ever!

Rohit Roy:
  The man who changed the world changes his residence today.. But he will continue to live on in our hearts. Nelson Mandela RIP.

Jackky Bhagnani: Nelson Mandela is no more a man who taught people that with love one can change the face of a nation. The most loved leader after Gandhiji. He was inspired by Gandhjii. A Gandhian at heart he fought against apartheid using non-violence. Later he became the first black President of South Africa. The World will miss a leader like u sir. RIP Nelson Mandela.

(Agencies)

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