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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.

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