Guests number 1600 at Mandela's birthday party

Johannesburg- (South Africa) -- Some 1,600 guests, including film stars, pop singers, models and former US president Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Saturday night attended the biggest and elegant birthday party at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg to celebrate former South African president Nelson Mandela's birthday who turned 85 on Friday.
The guests who also included South African President Thabo Mbeki and his wife Zanele, Oprah Winfrey, Robert de Niro, Mandela's adopted grand daughter Naomi Campbell and Earl Charles Spencer were given a red carpet welcome at a party to pay tribute to one of the most respected international figures.
"You have given the world many gifts, taught us the power of humility and the joy of service.
God bless you and happy birthday," Clinton said in honour of Mandela.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa thanked Mandela for making South Africa a beacon of hope for the rest of the world.
In paying tribute to Mandela, Oprah Winfrey said, "I believe that the rest of the world feels Madiba is an inspiration to us.
It's a blessing to be in his presence.
" Guests at the party, which had attracted tight security, were treated to the music of local South African artists, Yvonne Chakachaka, Johnny Clegg and Ladysmith Black Mambaza

19 july 2003 20:37:00

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