Skip to comments.Mandela celebrates 86th birthday quietly
Posted on 07/18/2004 10:48:55 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) - Former President Nelson Mandela celebrated his 86th birthday quietly Sunday at his family home in Qunu in the Eastern Cape with his wife Graca Machel and family members. The low key celebration was in keeping with the Nobel Laureate's announcement in June this year that he would cut back on public appearances, a spokesman from the Nelson Mandela Foundation said.
Mandela said he did not want to withdraw completely from public life but would be more selective about events he attended. He has maintained a hectic schedule since retirement from active politics in 1999.
He has since helped negotiate an end to fighting in Burundi, made many charitable appearances, took part in the successful bid to bring the 2010 soccer World Cup to South Africa and most recently spoke at an AIDS Conference in Thailand.
He said he would not rest until AIDS was under control.
The anti-apartheid hero has looked frail in recent appearances and has difficulty walking without a cane. Mandela indicated a more moderate schedule would allow him to spend more time with his family and complete the second volume of his memoirs.
The low-key birthday party was attended by Mandela's former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Last year Mandela celebrated his birthday with about 1,600 guests who attended a banquet in Johannesburg. Guests included Oprah Winfrey, Robert DeNiro, Bill Clinton, South African President Thabo Mbeki and former South African President F.W. de Klerk.
Mandela "remains a beloved national hero to all South Africans. 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," the official opposition Democratic Alliance said in a statement.
Former apartheid rulers of the New National Party said the nation was indebted to Mandela for his selfless service.
"There is never a thought spared for himself, it is always for others. On the special occasion...it is our turn as a nation to think about Mr. Mandela and to thank him; and to draw from his example by asking how we can help others in need," party secretary general Daryl Swanepoel said.
Apartheid era political enemies from the Inkatha Freedom Party also extended their congratulations to Mandela.
Leader of the Zulu nationalist IFP, Mangosuthu Buthelezi said Mandela's leadership was urgently needed to overcome "the seemingly impossible challenges of HIV/AIDS, crime, corruption, poverty and unemployment".
Buthelezi said Mandela's legacy had "unfortunately" remained unparalleled.
"Through his unstinting work and dedication Madiba (as he is known locally) has managed to touch the hearts and souls of millions of people across the globe," Buthelezi said.
Mandela continues working through the Nelson Mandela Children's Foundation and the Mandela Rhodes Foundation.
The former anti-apartheid leader spent 27 years in prison for his beliefs. After his release he became the country's first black president following the first democratic elections in 1994.
Unfortunately Mbeki is ten thousand times a communist than Mandela. He does not have the PR power for SA that Mandela has. Right now the only thing keeping SA on the map is Mandela.
Winnie didn't give him a necklace did she?
She's not as wild as she used to be.. ;-)
Gotta match? I got some old Goodyears laying around...turnabout and all that stuff.
And instead of using candles on the cake....
Friends of Castro and Qadaffi are not friends of the United States.
Geez...Do you think that F.W. DeKlerk might have a little hand in the dismantling of Aparthaid in South Africa? Where is the freaking press on HIS birthday celebration. Oh, I forgot. DeKlerk fought Aparthaid without the aid of communist organizations like the ANC. DeKlerk also never ran one of the most prosperous economies in Africa into the ground in a fit of socialist redistribution and policy like Mandela.
So Mandela's 86 now? Bully for him. As for me, I ask why this old loser won't just die and leave us in peace?
No, on second thought, I take that back. Just the thought of the immense print and TV film that the lefties will waste for their inevitable love-fest after his death makes me wish he'd live forever (in total silence, of course).
"Winnie: 'Africa's Evita'"
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is still one of the most controversial political figures in South Africa.
Her conviction on fraud and theft charges just adds another chapter to the already dramatic story of the woman once called the "mother of the Nation" by many black South Africans but now called the "mugger of the Nation" by some.
She denied the fraud, characterising them as the latest part of a long-running campaign to drag her name through the mud.
Still an MP for the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Ms Madikizela-Mandela has frequently come into conflict with President Thabo Mbeki and the ANC leadership but has retained support among poor, grassroots supporters of the party.
She recently offered to go to Iraq as a human shield in case of a United States-led war.
Born at Bizana in the Transkei, she met the leading ANC activist Nelson Mandela in 1957. He was already married but the marriage was breaking up.
They married in 1958 but were destined to have little time together as political activism and a period in hiding kept Nelson Mandela apart from her.
He was jailed for life in 1964 and only released in 1990.
While he was in prison, she took on an increasingly political role, partly because of constant harassment by the South African security police.
She became an international symbol of resistance to apartheid and a rallying point for poor, black township residents who resisted apartheid.
This led to her being dubbed the "Mother of the Nation".
Her resistance to harassment and championing of the anti-apartheid cause led to periods of imprisonment from 1969, much of it spent in solitary confinement.
In 1976, the year of the Soweto riots, she was banished from the township to a remote rural area. This did not end her problems and at one stage her house was burned down.
Suspicion fell on the South African security forces.
By the mid-1980s and the start of a long period of township militancy against the white government of President PW Botha, she was back in Soweto and at the heart of the struggle.
Her image and activism drew to her many anti-apartheid activists, including a group of young men who became her personal bodyguards.
They were known as the Mandela United Football Club.
Her prominence led to great influence over young, radical township activists but also growing controversy.
As the activists turned on suspected police informers or collaborators, the use of rubber tyres filled with petrol as brutal murder weapons became widespread.
Hung round the necks of the accused and then ignited, they became known as "necklaces" and drew criticism even from the ranks of anti-apartheid campaigners.
At one township rally, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela praised activists who with their "necklaces" were fighting apartheid.
Even greater controversy came when she was charged by senior anti-apartheid activists with involvement in the killing of a 14-year-old township militant, Stompie Seipei.
Disgrace and divorce
Stompie had been seized by Ms Madikizela-Mandela's bodyguards in 1989 and later found dead.
Members of the ANC leadership accused her of being behind the killing and of conducting a virtual reign of terror in parts of Soweto.
From prison, Nelson Mandela continued to support his wife.
In 1991, after his release, she was charged with the assault and kidnapping of Stompie Seipei and one of her bodyguards was charged with his murder.
She denied the allegations but was found guilty of kidnapping and sentenced to six years imprisonment.
This was reduced to a fine by an appeal court.
Her marriage to Nelson Mandela broke down in the years after his release and they were divorced in 1996.
President Mandela charged her with adultery.
Her split from Nelson Mandela did little to harm her political standing among poor, black South Africans. In the 1994 and 1999 elections, she was elected as an ANC MP and remains a leader of the ANC Women's League.
At the same time, in a career strikingly like that of the Argentine politician Eva Peron, she became known for an increasingly lavish lifestyle.
When she testified at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, she arrived at the hearings in a white Mercedes limousine surrounded by bodyguards.
At the commission, ANC members and ordinary township residents accused her of attacks on opponents, of ordering Stompie Seipei's murder and of being guilty of involvement in other murders.
She vehemently denied the accusations, calling them ludicrous.
This dented but did not destroy her political career. She remains popular with those who feel the ANC has not done enough for the poor.
This has brought her into conflict with President Thabo Mbeki. At the 25th anniversary of the Soweto riots, in June 2001 she clashed publicly with the president.
Her conviction for fraud and theft is the latest mark on her increasingly stained reputation.
<<< note from Stoat: Isn't it curious how Marxist monsters who have a long trail of dead bodies behind them are often called "controversial?"
This next item that I ran across requires a CONTENT WARNING: EXTREMELY VIOLENT IMAGERY OF DEATH AND DISMEMBERMENT. DON'T OPEN THIS PAGE WITH CHILDREN NEARBY!
That being said, it includes some worthwhile text pertaining to our "friends" Winnie and Nelson, which I'll repost here for those who don't want to view the pictures:
Terror in South Africa
Nelson and Winnie Mandela, once husband and wife, sure think alike. During Mandela's trial they produced 90 pages of documents in his own handwriting. These documents all showed that he really was nothing other than a communist terrorist. He never denied that he had written it. One of those was entitled "How to be a Good Communist." In one document Mr Mandela addressed the issue of "sellouts". He advocated "cutting their noses off". As you can see, from what happened in Zimbabwe one should not think such comments are intended as jokes. When these people speak of cutting parts off of living humans they're not joking. In Angola, the breasts were cut off living white women and other whites were sawed in half at a timbermill.
Winnie Mandela once said that they would liberate South Africa with boxes of matches. Here are a few reminders that it wasn't a joke. More than 400 black South Africans were murdered in this way. They poured petrol on them, put a tyre around them, and with their sick macabre humour referred to this as a "necklace." People were stoned, stabbed and burned alive.
Most of these people were black. Many people outside South Africa may remember seeing film footage of crowds of blacks engaging in the murder of these unlucky individuals. You never saw white people murdering blacks like that because it never happened. But those people who conducted those murders are now the government of South Africa.
Car bombs seemed to follow me. When I moved to Johannesburg some years later an even larger car bomb went off less than 1 Km from where I lived!
The lesson from Africa is that if you murder, intimidate and terrorise people enough while pumping hateful propaganda into their heads you can later stand proudly on the world stage and claim to be the voice of the masses!! Who ever said Communists don't have a macabre sense of humour eh?
Welcome to southern Africa, where the Terrorists win and where the murderers now make the laws and run the country. Is it any wonder therefore that crime is out of control (because they don't want to hang their buddies). Is it any wonder that over 1,200 white farmers have been murdered in South Africa in recent years?
Let that be a lesson to everyone that this is what happens when you let Marxist Terrorists come to power. Rather than solving the problem, the world, through its meddling and misunderstanding of southern Africa, has actually helped to make the problem worse. You have not seen nor heard the last of the Marxist Murderers of southern Africa. There will be more to come in the years ahead...
APARTHEID WAS BAD, COMMUNISM IS WORSE
Nelson Mandela, a hero to some, including many in the Democratic Party, is no hero of mine.
Was Martha Stewart invited to the party?
Not to mention the John's Squared...