Mandela's family said that they have lost a humble, caring man who was moral guide not only for their clan but for the people around the world.
The family's spokesman, Temba Matanzima said that Tata (father) is gone and his presence was like a baobab tree that provided a comforting shade that served as protection and security for them, news.com.au reports.
Matanzima further said that the pillar of the family is gone, just as he was away during that 27 painful years of imprisonment.
He described the departed statesman as a caring family leader who made time equally for people rich and poor, great and small.
The spokesman further thanked South Africans and the rest of the world for their messages of love and support.
Mandela, affectionately addressed as Madiba, passed away on Thursday night, aged 95, surrounded by family and friends.
According to the report, Mandela's body will lie in state for three days from Wednesday, with the cortege taken out each morning to give as many people as possible the opportunity to say farewell.
Around 80,000 people are expected to attend a memorial service in the Soweto sports stadium that hosted the final of the 2010 World Cup and US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle would be traveling with former first couple George W and Laura Bush.
Mandela will be buried at a family gravesite overlooking an aloe field and his home on December 15, the report added.