Foundation seeks one million Mandela birthday messages

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- The Nelson Mandela Foundation is striving to collect a million birthday messages for the former president before Saturday, when they will be handed over to the world statesman.
Mandela turned 87 on Monday and his birthday celebrations kicked off with a fireworks extravaganza on Robben Island and the lighting of a torch in his former prison cell.
The torch is being carried on a route winding through nine provinces and a team of runners will carry the torch to reach the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg shortly before the kick-off of the Mandela Cup rugby match between the Springboks and Australia on Saturday.
The Springboks will wear Mandela's former prison number, 46664, on their jerseys for the match.
Mandela's spokeswoman Zelda la Grange said the foundation is trying to collect one million birthday messages for him.
At Saturday's match, the torch will be handed over to Mandela together with all the messages collected.
Meanwhile, a poll carried out by CNN earlier this month found that Mandela was chosen as the world's most prominent international figure by 35 percent of the 1,000 people questioned.
The late Mother Teresa, came in second with 30 percent of the vote, followed by Pope John Paul II with 27 percent.

21 july 2005 11:37:00

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