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SOUTH AFRICA 18 Jul 2013 South African anti-apartheid icon turns 95
Former South African president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela, now very frail, is likely to spend a quiet 95th birthd

July 18, 2013 - NULL

SOUTH AFRICA 18 Jul 2013 South African anti-apartheid icon turns 95
Former South African president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela, now very frail, is likely to spend a quiet 95th birthday at home in Qunu in the Eastern Cape with greetings pouring in from around the world. Some 12 million children across South Africa sang a specially-composed song for him as part of official celebrations for his 94th birthday, and recently his country honored him with a bank note bearing his image. The feud between family members and others over the politically and commercially valuable Mandela

SOUTH AFRICA 18 Jul 2013 South African anti-apartheid icon turns 95
Former South African president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela, now very frail, is likely to spend a quiet 95th birthday at home in Qunu in the Eastern Cape with greetings pouring in from around the world. Some 12 million children across South Africa sang a specially-composed song for him as part of official celebrations for his 94th birthday, and recently his country honored him with a bank note bearing his image. The feud between family members and others over the politically and commercially valuable Mandela "brand" is reported to be more intense with each passing birthday.

Mandela, who spent 27 years in jail for leading an armed anti-apartheid campaign, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for his struggles and became president in 1994. He served one term, and retired from public life in 1999. His public appearances are rare. There are periodic health scares, the most recent in Feb 2012, when he was taken to hospital. He appeared briefly at the 2010 World Cup closing ceremony in South Africa and needed the help of his wife, Graca Machel, to raise his hand to wave to the crowd.

The BBC reported in a story about his 92nd birthday that his relatives and colleagues are becoming increasingly involved in bitter feuds for control of his name because of the political and economic riches it carries. The disputes are taking place at different levels, involving Mandela's family from three marriages, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and various foundations and charities set up by the former president after he retired. According to the BBC, political comrades and business associates are also fighting for a share in the Mandela legacy.

South Africa's Sunday Times newspaper reported in 2009 that Mandela had convened a family meeting to discuss his will. At the meeting he reportedly suggested that the Nelson Mandela Foundation should inherit a large portion of his estate and the rest should go to his children, his grandson Mandla and his current wife. Mandla, who has become influential since his appointment as a traditional chief in Mandela's birthplace, the village of Mvezo, is one of several Mandelas claiming to be the true custodian of the Nelson Mandela legacy. (WRITTEN NOV 2012)

RELATED READING:

Nelson Mandela biography (Nobel Foundation)
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1993/mandela-bio.html

Nelson Mandela banknotes issued in South Africa (BBC 6 Nov 2012)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20218074

Date written/update: 2013-07-18