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Archive for July, 2010

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.”

General News

July 7, 2010

Mandela to decide Sunday on attending World Cup final

(AFP) – 5 hours ago

JOHANNESBURG — Nelson Mandela and his family will decide on the day of the World Cup final if the Nobel laureate will attend the match, his foundation said Wednesday.

“We note FIFA’s open invitation to Mr Nelson Mandela to attend the closing ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup,” the Mandela Foundation said in a statement.

“We reiterate that Mr Mandela and his family will make the decision about whether he attends or not on the day.”

South Africa’s first black president, who turns 92 this month, appears increasingly frail and has sharply reduced his public schedule.

He was instrumental in bringing the World Cup to South Africa, but cancelled his planned appearance at the June 11 opening match after a great-granddaughter died in a car accident on the eve of the tournament.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved