Well-wishers send messages ahead of Mandela's birthday

Johannesburg- South Africa (PANA) -- Messages paying tribute to South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela who celebrates his 86th birthday on Sunday started pouring in Friday, with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) commending the former head of state for the role he continues to play even during his retirement.
"Our success in winning the right to host the 2010 World Cup is but one of the many illustrious milestones of your collective achievements with other leaders of our country.
"Our tribute is in recognition of the way in which, even during your years of retirement, you continue to stride the world stage like a colossus," the ANC statement said.
"We honour you for the masterful way in which you have used your political acumen, your charisma and your compassion to place South Africa on a high pedestal in the difficult world we live in.
"South Africa is fortunate to have a visionary like you as one of its leaders, blessed with the wisdom from which we can always benefit in times of need.
" In wishing Mandela a happy birthday, the main opposition Democratic Alliance said Madiba remains a beloved national hero to all South Africans.
Madiba is Mandela's clan name.
"Though he has retired, he has continued his passionate work on behalf of all of us, especially on issues such as HIV/AIDS.
He is a national treasure and an icon to millions of people across the world," DA leader Tony Leon said.

16 july 2004 16:45:00

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