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General News

July 16, 2012

Frail Nelson Mandela turning 94

Johannesburg – Former president Nelson Mandela turns 94 on Wednesday, but he is unlikely to attend a host of celebrations as the frail anti-apartheid icon has increasingly vanished from the public eye.

He once partied lavishly with the likes of American talk-show host Oprah Winfrey and other international celebrities, but for the past four years Mandela has blown out the candles alone with his family.

This year the revered statesman, who has been hospitalised twice in as many years, will be at his rural childhood home in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape province, where he has moved “for good”.

These days his foundation and other organisations use his life example to encourage others to do good.

Mandela Day

In 2009 the United Nations declared July 18 International Mandela Day, aimed to get people all over the world to volunteer for good causes.

The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, the charitable organisation which he founded after he stepped down from office, calls on people to devote 67 minutes of their time to charity work.

The number 67 represents each year of Mandela’s life in active politics.

Andrew Mlangeni, an anti-apartheid activist who was imprisoned with him on Robben Island, said striving to emulate his values would be the best tribute.

“Living up to the ideals that he sacrificed so much for would be the greatest gift South Africans today could give Mandela,” the 86-year-old told AFP.

“I wish him long life and good health. His presence is a blessing to all us South Africans and the world,” he added.

‘As well as any 94-year-old’

In January 2011, Madiba set the nation on edge when he was hospitalised for two nights with a respiratory infection.

Another brief hospitalisation followed in February this year for treatment of a “long-standing abdominal complaint”.

Only the president’s office is allowed to give details of his hospital visits, making the subject of his health a matter a select few know about.

He was last seen looking frail in a rare television appearance on May 30 to receive a symbolic flame marking the centenary of his party, the ANC.

Mandela’s long-time secretary Zelda la Grange last week said he was in good shape.

“He is 94, so he is as well as any 94-year-old,” La Grange told 5FM.

“He is healthy, he is well taken care of by family and the medical staff around him.”

World record

Last week, President Jacob Zuma described him as being in “good health” after a home visit to Mandela in Qunu ahead of his birthday.

South Africans across the nation will sing a special rendition of Happy Birthday at 08:00 on Wednesday, in an attempt by a Johannesburg-based civil society group to set a world record of the most people singing the rhyme at the same time.

“We aim to get 20 million people to sing Happy Birthday Madiba at 08:00 on Wednesday,” said Yusuf Abramjee, the spokesperson of Lead SA.

“Schoolchildren will join in, and we encourage everyone, wherever they are to take a moment and sing for Madiba at 08:00,” Abramjee told AFP.

In Qunu the Nelson Mandela museum is holding youth artist upliftment projects. In nearby Mvezo, where he was born, family head Chief Mandla Mandela will hand over books to local schools.

General News

July 2, 2012

Nelson Mandela turns 94 on July 18th

Nelson Mandela will turn 94 on the 18th July , invest in his unique coins via www.southafricacoins.net , Specialist dealers in graded and encapsulated PCGS and NGC coins – authorised PCGS dealer .

General News

September 15, 2011

Nelson Mandela is alive and well

Posted on September 15, 2011

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters): Former South African President Nelson Mandela is alive and well despite rumors on social media sites that he has died, state-owned broadcaster SABC reported. SABC cited the Nelson Mandela Foundation as denying the rumors on micro-blogging site Twitter. Mandela, 93, South Africa’s first black president who is revered at home and abroad as a symbol of reconciliation and hope, was hospitalized in January after suffering an acute respiratory infection. Since then Mandela has recovered and he is currently in his home village of Qunu in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.

Source : Frontier Post

General News

August 30, 2011

Madiba settles into hometown Qunu

Cape Argus – South Africa

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Former President Nelson Mandela’s home in the Eastern Cape village of Qunu. It’s believed that Mandela has moved permanently to this house.

August 29 2011 at 12:31pm

VUYO MKIZE

Staff Reporter

A SOUTH African flag sways back and forth from a tall pole inside the yard of former president Nelson Mandela’s home in Qunu.

The flag has been high up on the pole for a little over six weeks, a signal to villagers that Madiba is back in his rural home 30km south-west of Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.

While the country’s beloved elder statesman has retreated to his village home, and rumours abound that his stay may be permanent, sources close to the family insist he is in good health and spirits.

“Tata is very well. He’s fat and looks like he’s happy and in good health. He sits around and watches the cattle around the fields or reads the paper. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with him, he’s looking strong for an old man,” said one village elder close to the family during our visit to the village this weekend.

Zanomthetho Mtirara, the chief of the nearby Mqhekezweni village where Mandela grew up from the age of nine, said he had enjoyed visits with his grandfather since his return to the village, during which they would sit on his lawn and talk.

Mtirara is a grandson of Justice Mtirara, a chief and a son of regent Jongintaba Dalindyebo, who took in Mandela as a child and raised him as his own in Mqhekezweni.

Mandela arrived in the village in time for his 93rd birthday in July on a military aircraft with medical support personnel from the defence force.

Tall grey gates enclose his house alongside the N2, the main road between Mthatha and East London, while a strong contingent of guards maintains security around the homestead.

The chieftainess of Qunu, Nokwanele Balizulu, said that since Madiba’s return, his wife, Graça Machel, had made plans for sustainable development initiatives around the village.

“She (Machel) has initiated a project for the growth of vegetables in the village… I’m excited about this project as this will help our people who live in poverty; it will also help with people’s health,” said Balizulu, who lives across the road from Mandela’s homestead.

There has been no official confirmation whether Madiba’s stay in Qunu will be permanent.

General News

May 23, 2011

Nelson ‘Madiba’ Mandela Makes a Surprise Visit Home

Times Live is reporting that former South African President Nelson “Madiba” Mandela made a surprise visit to his home in Transkei on Sunday. Mandela, who usually notifies the airport in Transkei of his arrival days in advance, arrived with little notice to the Mthatha Airport.

Speculation that the human rights activist is gravely ill has followed him since his unexpected hospitalization in January for an acute respiratory infection. He had not been seen publicly since being hospitalized until last Monday, when he cast a special vote in the local government elections.

Sources close to the 92-year-old civil rights icon said that he had told his family on Thursday, “I want to go home.” Before his arrival, five aircraft, including a military medical aircraft, were seen at Mthatha Airport just before midday. At 1 p.m. a white medical military aircraft landed, and 30 minutes later Mandela and his wife arrived in a Boeing plane. A specially designed wheelchair-lift truck transferred the former president to a nearby military ambulance. Soon afterward, a convoy of about 12 vehicles, some with tinted windows, drove out of the airport. At the time, the medical aircraft was hovering above the convoy until Madiba reached his Qunu home.

At home, he was welcomed by grandson Nkosi Mandla Mandela and other family members, including Napilisi Mandela. Madiba’s clan nephew, AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, was among those who visited Mandela. His grandson Mandla could not be reached for comment. However, he said, “The old man is very old” when asked whether, during his weeklong stay, Mandela would pay his respects to the late AbaThembu Queen Nolwazi, who was buried on Saturday.

Perhaps the speculation that Mandela is gravely ill is more than just speculation. An impromptu visit to his birthplace with a medical envoy in tow does not bode well for “Tata.” At 92 years old, he has lived an amazing life and been central to creating social change and justice that will live well beyond his years on earth. We’re keeping Mr. Mandela in our prayers.

Source : The Root

General News

October 11, 2010

New memoir chronicles Mandela’s thoughts, dreams

(CNN) — The extraordinary life experiences of former South African President Nelson Mandela have been chronicled in a new book entitled “Conversations with Myself.”

Many of his personal letters, notes and tape recordings that form the basis of the book are stored in a small, nondescript room in the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg.

It is a rich treasure trove of Mandela’s history.

Importantly, his prison diaries are there — desk calendars handed out to prisoners by the apartheid regime. Year after year, Mandela made notes in the small blocked margins of these diaries, recording his blood pressure, his meetings and even his dreams.

The notes about his dreams are reminders of what it must have been like to be a father and a husband taken away from his family.

One entry recalls a dream he had of going home to his Soweto house to see his wife Winnie, who was sick, while one of their daughters swallows a razor blade.

The insight one gets from Mandela’s notes about his dreams are some of the few references to the emotions he experienced while serving a life sentence on Robben Island.

He spent 27 years in jail after being convicted of sabotage and attempts to overthrow the government. He was released in 1990 and returned to the leadership of the African National Congress Party (ANC).

Verne Harris, an archivist at the Mandela Foundation who put together the book, told CNN the compilation is “about what Mandela says to himself when he doesn’t have an audience.” He adds: “What emerges is a Nelson Mandela who is fallible, who is quirky, who is vulnerable, and that opens for me a Nelson Mandela who’s far more accessible.”

The collection also includes the opening chapter of his unfinished second autobiography. In his neat handwriting and dated October 16, 1998, Mandela muses about his legacy as South Africa’s first black president: “Men and women, all over the world, write down the centuries, come and go, some leave nothing behind, not even their names, which would seem they never existed at all.”

In the final paragraph of this unfinished chapter he muses about the burden of being regarded as an icon or saint. “I never was one, even on the basis of an earthly definition of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying,” he wrote.

Mandela is now 92-years old and he rarely makes public appearances. So the aim of the book is for the story of his life to inspire people long after he’s gone.

“His personal archive is clearly a resource which is wonderfully rich and needs to be shared with the world,” said Harris. “Our ultimate objective is to digitize it all and put it up on the web so that everyone has access to it.”

General News

July 13, 2010

Mandela to spend birthday with family

(AFP) – 5 hours ago

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa’s Nelson Mandela will on Sunday celebrate his 92 birthday in a private ceremony with family in Johannesburg, his grandson said on Tuesday.

“Because of his age, it is difficult for him to travel, so we have centred the family to be in Houghton so that they can spend the day with him,” chief Zwelivelile Mandela told journalists.

The iconic leader used to celebrate his birthday with villagers at his rural homestead in Qunu, but last year only a few people were invited to an exclusive party.

This year, “some 95 children from Mvezo village and Qunu will travel up to Johannesburg to spend the day with him,” Zwelivelile said.

This year, Mandela’s birthday marks the first celebration of the United Nations recognised Mandela Day, which meant to honor his commitment to global peace and human rights.

The government has planned a series of events to encourage South Africans to dedicate their time in community service to mark the day. President Jacob Zuma will speak at the main event in Mvezo.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

General News

July 11, 2010

Nelson Mandela Greets Fans at Soccer World Cup Final in Johannesburg

Nelson Mandela greeted fans before today’s soccer World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands in Johannesburg.

Mandela made a brief appearance at Soccer City after keeping a low profile during the monthlong tournament, the first World Cup to be staged in Africa. He played a key role in his country’s bid to host the 32-nation event and attended the 2004 ceremony at which the decision was announced.

Mandela, 91, served for five years as president following South Africa’s first all-race elections in 1994. While he has largely retired from public life, he had been scheduled to appear at the opening match on June 11 before canceling after his great-granddaughter died in a car crash.

By Dan Baynes – Jul 11, 2010 – Bloomberg

General News

Mandela family: FIFA pressuring him to go to final

The Associated Press
Posted: 07/11/2010 03:25:54 AM PDT
Updated: 07/11/2010 03:31:23 AM PDT
JOHANNESBURG—Nelson Mandela has been put under “extreme pressure” to attend Sunday’s World Cup final, according to the former South African president’s family.The 91-year-old anti-apartheid icon has kept a low profile during the tournament, deciding against attending the opening game on June 11 following the death of his great granddaughter.

FIFA has yet to announce who will present the trophy to either Spain or the Netherlands at Soccer City on Sunday evening. Having Mandela perform the duty would be seen as a crowning moment for FIFA president Sepp Blatter to mark the end of the first staging of a World Cup in Africa.

“We’ve come under extreme pressure from FIFA requiring and wishing that my grandfather be at the final today,” Mandela’s grandson Mandla told BBC radio. “But I think that decision will solemnly lie with him, how he wakes up today, how he feels, what his medical team says, but as well his family.

“My grandfather is 92 years old next week, this is an evening game. He’s expected to hand over the trophy after the game which could be anything from 10:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and it will be quite strenuous on his part.”

Mandla Mandela said the family withdrew from most activities since 13-year-old Zenani Mandela was killed in a car crash while returning from the World Cup opening concert.

“I think people ought to just understand the family’s traditions and customs and understand we’ve had a loss in the family and we are in mourning, and that for me would be enough reason to leave the family to be for now,” said Mandla. “Their focus is having this world icon in the stadium, yet not really paying attention to our customs and traditions as a people and as a family.


General News

World Cup waits for Nelson Mandela

By Andrew Johnson

Sunday, 11 July 2010 – The Independent On Sunday Online – UK

He is South Africa’s greatest asset, the architect of the Rainbow Nation, and holds the very rare distinction of being a statesman admired throughout the world. As such, who would be better to present the World Cup – that symbol of global unity – than Nelson Mandela?

It is a question the world is asking, and even the Spanish and Dutch, who contest the final at Soccer City in Johannesburg tonight, will agree that one of the most successful tournaments ever should be crowned by an appearance by the perfect ambassador for peace and unity that the World Cup represents.

Mr Mandela has kept a low profile throughout the month-long jamboree. The former South African president is a frail 91. He was due to open the tournament, but pulled out at the last minute after his 13-year-old great-granddaughter Zenani was killed in a road accident.

Sepp Blatter, the president of Fifa, the world football governing body, has hinted that Mr Mandela could attend this evening’s final. If he does, he might be collared to hand over the trophy.

“If he comes and stays to the end, then it is possible he will present the trophy,” Mr Blatter said. “Presenting the trophy would be a fitting honour for South Africa and Africa as Mandela was one of the driving lights to bring the World Cup to South Africa.”