INTERNATIONAL NEWS
July 18, 2012 12:00:00 AM
  Follow @ Twitter

South Africa's 12 million schoolchildren sang happy birthday to Nelson Mandela as he turned 94 on Wednesday, at the start of events to honour the country's first black president.

At 8:00 am (0600 GMT), children began their day at school with a special birthday song ringing with the line: "We love you father".

"This is a very important day for all of us," said Paul Ramela, principal at a primary school in Soweto.

"We are here to celebrate the birthday of a very important person, a person who has liberated us from apartheid," he told his students. "Mandela spent 67 years of his life to improve the lives of other people. He has done so much for all of us."

Mandela himself was unlikely to make any public appearance, but rather to celebrate quietly with his family in his village home of Qunu.

His granddaughter Ndileka Mandela told the Sowetan newspaper that his family would celebrate with a traditional meal of tripe and samp, a corn dish popular in his region of the Eastern Cape.

"We will probably have food like samp and tripe, his favourite food," she told the paper. "The big lunch will be at 4:00 pm (1400 GMT) where we will present him with a cake."

Former US president Bill Clinton met with Mandela at his village home on Tuesday. A photograph released after the meeting showed Mandela seated in an armchair, his lap covered by a blanket, as he held Clinton's hand.

Images of the Nobel Peace Prize winner have become rare in recent years as he has retired to Qunu. He was last seen in public at the closing ceremony of the 2010 World Cup in Johannesburg.

AFP




 

Wiggle


PREVIOUS STORY
Physical inactivity kills 5 million a year
NEXT STORY
Little known general is N.Korea army chief

Bookmark and Share
   




FIJI NEWS
Boy,16, charged for causing deathA 16-year-old boy will appear in the Magistrates Court in Labasa this morning for causing the death of a form five student in Taveuni last week.
BUSINESS
Stakeholders await Fiji tourism visionThe head of the regional tourism organisation says Fiji's tourism stakeholders are anxiously awaiting to hear the newly elected Fiji Government's vision for tourism in the next four years.
SPORTS
Go one step higher, President tells 7s repsFiji's President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today reminded members of the Vodafone Fiji 7s team and Telecom Fijiana team of the nation's expectations and urged the players to go a step higher.
TECHNOLOGY
Vodafone Fiji, Tonga telco in allianceVodafone Fiji and Tonga Communications Corporation today signed a strategic partnership alliance that will allow the Tongan company to leverage off the experience of their Fijian counterparts.
HEALTH/FITNESS
Clean-up day to curb dengue outbreakFiji's Ministry of Health has declared a clean-up day next Thursday for residents in the central division as it ups the tempo against a dengue fever outbreak currently experienced in the country.
ENTERTAINMENT
Rock Or Bust is AC DC's new albumAC DC has announced the release of Rock Or Bust, the band’s first studio album in six years.
NEWS SPORTS INFOTAINMENT SERVICES MOBILE EXTRA HOT TOPICS