Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon who became the first president of a democratic South Africa, passed away Thursday at his home in Johannesburg after a prolonged lung infection. He was 95.

South African ballot

A close-up of the framed original 1994 ballot owned by Waterloo resident Will Winterfeld. He kept it as a souvenir from his six week trip to South Africa that year as an international observer in the election that would put Nelson Mandela in the president's office. (Matthew Kang/CBC News)

Millions remember the day Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa when they watched his victory on television in 1994, but Will Winterfeld is among the very few Canadians can say they saw it first-hand.  Winterfeld was in the country for six weeks as an international observer during the election that put Mandela in office.