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Long live Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

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posted on Jul, 20 2003 @ 07:54 PM
By Staff Reporters

His face was like a bright summer morning. Nelson Mandela glowed on Saturday night. In the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a long-time neighbour and friend, he was "like a teenager on a first date after his first kiss". The former president's smile was endless as he greeted his many guests.

Mandela's birthday celebrations, the biggest South Africa has seen, climaxed in style on Saturday night.

The 1 600 guests were given red carpet treatment as they arrived at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg for a gala dinner.

A marimba band - musicians wearing traditional African costumes with feathers in their hair - welcomed the partygoers.

Former US president Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda, rock star Bono, supermodel Naomi Campbell, actors John Cusack and Robert de Niro, singer Barbra Streisand and talk-show host Oprah Winfrey were among the international guests.

Local VIPs included President Thabo Mbeki and his wife Zanele, Tutu, Jay Naidoo, Arthur Chaskalson, Johnny Clegg, Patricia de Lille, Mac Maharaj, Frene Ginwala, Alec Erwin, Essop Pahad, Trevor Manuel, Tokyo Sexwale and Albie Sachs.

Africa's first cosmonaut, Mark Shuttleworth, attended the event with magazine editor Khanyi Dhlomo-Mkhize, as well as Africa’s first black diamond producer, André Action Jackson, who is celebrating his birthday on the 19th.

Talk-show host Tim Modise, who was the master of ceremonies, called for a minute's silence for Corne Krige's humiliated Bok team, who were among the Hollywood film stars, pop singers, models, top sports people, state and industry leaders, kings and queens, pharmacists and cleaners present.

The vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo sang a special birthday song for Mandela.

The dinner followed tens of thousands of tributes that poured in from around the world to mark the former president's birthday.

Many world leaders sent formal messages of congratulation, while ordinary South Africans flooded Telkom with more than 15 000 calls and the cellphone service providers with more than 22 000 short message greetings.

The final stage of the celebration will be the official opening of the Nelson Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg on Sunday with a road race.

While the festivities - which started on Friday when Mandela hosted a group of children at his home in Houghton - continued on Saturday, Mandela attended the funeral of his daughter-in-law. Later he joined Clinton at the inaugural Nelson Mandela lecture at the Civic Theatre in Johannesburg.

In his address Clinton said: "In all of history there's a story of struggle. In my lifetime there are only two people who have made that personal journey... Mahatma Gandhi, and his worthy successor, Nelson Mandela."

The former US president said a suitable birthday present from the world to Mandela would be the discovery of a vaccine and a cure for Aids, debt relief for African countries and an economic boom for the continent.

Clinton called on the world to follow Mandela's example and to work towards the common good of humanity. He highlighted HIV/Aids as one of the biggest issues that needed to be addressed. He also called for the criteria for debt relief to be revisited. "We need another round of debt relief and we need South Africa and Nigeria to be included," Clinton said.

"Politically, it should be easier to get debt relief than debt aid. The way governments do their budget is that they don't expect to get paid back for their debt."

Clinton also called for an increase in African exports, saying he hoped US President George Bush would push for further trade with Africa.

"If you want to give Madiba a birthday present you should do something to deal with Africa's challenges and to tap into Africa's promises. Africa abounds with what works and we have to take what works and spread it across the continent."

Clinton referred to his wife's first book, which had taken its title from an African saying: "It takes a village to raise a child. If we live in a global village then we are truly responsible for every child."

He said the world needed to follow Mandela's life example: despite people's differences, a common humanity mattered more.


posted on Nov, 13 2003 @ 09:34 AM
Yes he truly is a great man!!

I just wish President Mbeki was half the man.

posted on Nov, 13 2003 @ 09:37 AM
Yes....he is a great man!

He's got the respect of many nations and he deserves a great deal more!


posted on Dec, 1 2003 @ 11:07 PM
Mandela's recent AIDS awareness campaign appears to have been a great success with celebrities such as Bono from U2, Shakira, Anastasia and many more coming to South Africa to support this effort and putting on a concert for free to raise funds.

One small thing does concern me.
Nelson Mandela's prison number was 46664.
It is read as 466 64 ( Four double six, six four)
Why are they not calling it what it is. 4 666 4 ( Four triple six four)

This number clearly carries the mark of the beast but who are they fooling?

The Bible, and other prophecies, clearly state that in the final days the last anti-Christ will come in the name of peace and reconciliation but will carry the mark of the beast.
he will bring hope to the world but this will not be he's true aim.

MMmmmm.... ok I seriously doubt the Nelson Mandela is the anti-Christ but what about those around him using he's name for all of these noble causes?

I would like to keep a close eye on where all of the millions of dollars raised in the name of HIV research is really going.

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