Madiba 90

'Madiba an icon of humanity'

2008-07-18 10:31

Special Report

Mandela: SA needs good leaders

Now as much as ever, South Africa needs disciplined leaders, Nelson Mandela has said at birthday celebration in Pretoria.

Johannesburg - Fifa President Joseph Sepp Blatter leads the football world in saluting "his friend Madiba" with a special birthday video message to pay tribute to this "icon of humanity".

Mandela and his wife, Graca Machel, are currently at their home in Qunu, in the Transkei, where they will host a private birthday party on Saturday to which some 500 guests have been invited.

"Today we celebrate a very special birthday - your 90th birthday," Blatter says. "There is no greater symbol of Africa's Humanity than you - Nelson Mandela and what you stand for. You have given more than your share to your country and your continent, you have dedicated your lifetime to the promotion of human rights and democracy and you have led the endless fight for freedom not only of your people, the South Africans, but of all mankind. And that is why you received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993."I am proud to be your friend, dear Madiba!

"I will never forget the special day of 15 May, 2004, when you, my dear friend, came to Switzerland, to show your commitment to the 2010 Fifa World Cup.


"I am still touched by your words right after the 2010 Fifa World Cup was awarded to South Africa, when you held the Fifa World Cup Trophy and said that you felt like a boy of 15.

"Even at 90, when you smile, you still look like a boy. You, a man who talked about how inspirational the 2010 Fifa World Cup is for him and what 2010 means for him and his country.

"You are the epitome of grace and dignity; a man with determination to overcome even the greatest odds and this is what Fifa is sure South Africa will deliver to the world in 2010 - the ability to rise to the challenge with great determination, strength and dignity, as it did in bidding for 2010.

"Ke Nako - it's time. Let's celebrate Africa's Humanity and another wonderful year for you, dear Madiba. For the Game. For the World. For South Africa. Happy Birthday and see you at the opening ceremony of the Fifa World Cup South Africa on 11 June 2010!"

  • For more PSL news, visit

    Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

    We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
    Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

  • SHARE: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    Comments have been closed for this article.

    Inside News24

    Traffic Alerts
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


    Create Profile

    Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

    Please provide a username for your profile page:

    This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


    Location Settings

    News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

    Facebook Sign-In

    Hi News addict,

    Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

    Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.