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    Nelson Mandela celebrates his 92nd birthday


    by ODN


    The former South Africa president and anti-apartheid campaigner Nelson Mandela has marked his 92nd birthday, surrounded by his family at home in Johannesburg.

    Seated in an arm chair, Mandela watched as the candles were lit on a multi-tiered cake.

    Three generations then sang "Happy Birthday," before Mandela's grandchildren and great-grandchildren blew out the candles.

    The celebration also marked the first International Mandela Day, inaugurated by the UN to promote neighbourliness and charity work world-wide.

    The aim of the day is for people to give 67 minutes of their time for community work or helping others, in recognition of Mandela's 67 years in national and international politics.

    Away from Johannesburg, South African President Jacob Zuma led official Mandela Day celebrations in a marquee at Mvezo, the isolated village in the Eastern Cape where Mandela was born.

    Speaking to local dignitaries and well wishers, Zuma wished Mandela a happy birthday and called him a "true humanitarian."

    Mandela led the struggle against apartheid in South Africa as head of the African National Congress' armed wing. He was convicted of sabotage and other crimes and served 27 years in prison.

    When he was freed in 1990, he supported reconciliation, helped to lead South Africa's transition toward multi-racial democracy and became the country's first president to win a fully democratic election in 1994.