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Mandela's 95th birthday celebrated

Mandela
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July 18 is International Mandela Day Madiba completes 41 days in hospital Presidential office says he is stabilizing Johannesburg (PTI):...

  • July 18 is International Mandela Day
  • Madiba completes 41 days in hospital
  • Presidential office says he is stabilizing
Johannesburg (PTI): South Africa on Thursday celebrated the 95th birthday of former president Nelson Mandela, with the good news that the ailing anti-apartheid hero's health condition has steadily improved. South Africans got united to celebrate the democracy icon's birthday in diverse ways not seen since the euphoria of the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosted in the African country. Mandela, regarded the founding father of South Africa's multi-racial democracy, was admitted to a Pretoria hospital on June 8 for a recurring lung infection. Mandela has been hospitalised four times since December. School children across the country kicked off the celebrations by singing "Happy Birthday" to their beloved Madiba, as the revered global statesman is fondly known. Mandela's birthday has been designated International Mandela Day by the United Nations. A "67 minutes for Mandela campaign" was also launched in South Africa, encouraging all citizens to donate 67 minutes of their time in some form of community service to mark the number of years he spent fighting to end apartheid and bring democracy to South Africa. Even as Mandela spent his 41st day in a Pretoria hospital, hundreds of people gathered outside the hospital carrying messages of goodwill and flowers for Mandela. President Jacob Zuma on Thursday wished the founding father of the nation a "joyous" birthday. "Madiba remains in hospital in Pretoria but his doctors have confirmed that his health is steadily improving," said a statement issued by the office of Zuma. Mandela
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