Mandela 92 – The First 'Mandela Day'

Communicates Across South Africa yesterday marked Nelson Mandela's 92nd birthday and the first 'Mandela Day' – an international day dedicated to public service in honor of the anti-apartheid icon.

Mr Mandela, who is now mainly retired from public life, spent the day with close family at his Johannesburg home. Earlier, schoolchildren from Eastern Cape Province, where he grew up, had been flown to the city to sing him birthday songs.

Leaders around the world paid tribute to Mr Mandela, who stepped down as South African president in 1999. US President Barack Obama praised his "astonishing vision, leadership, and spirit", and UN chief Ban Ki-Moon described him as "a towering figure" who "embodies the highest values of humanity". South Africa's President Jacob Zuma visited Mvezo, the region where Mr Mandela was born, to plant trees and participate in painting a school building, while Mr Mandela's wife, Graca Machel, helped sow a vegetable garden at a Soweto orphanage. Bookmark and Share