Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Mandela celebrates 95th birthday

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa celebrated Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday today with acts of charity, the milestone capped by news that the former president’s health was improving after fears that he was close to death during ongoing hospital treatment.

“He continues to respond positively to treatment and we are encouraged by the progress he is making,” President Jacob Zuma said after visiting Mandela. A statement from Zuma’s office said Mandela was steadily improving.

“We are proud to call this international icon our own as South Africans and wish him good health,” Zuma said in the statement. He thanked South Africans for supporting Mandela during his hospitalization with “undying love and compassion” and responding to a call to give the beloved figure “the biggest birthday celebration ever this year.”

The anti-apartheid leader was taken to a Pretoria hospital on June 8 for treatment for a recurring lung infection. In previous announcements, the government said he was in critical but stable condition. Court documents filed by Mandela’s family earlier this month had said Mandela was on life support.

Mandela is making “remarkable progress,” said one of his daughters, Zindzi, today, after tense weeks in which some South Africans talked about the possibility that Mandela was on the verge of dying.

“We look forward to having him back at home soon,” the South African Press Association quoted Zindzi Mandela as saying during the government rollout of a digital ID card system.

Ndileka Mandela, a granddaughter of Mandela, poured soup for poor children at a charity event and said her family had been unsure about whether her grandfather would live to see his birthday.

“But because of the fighter that he is, he was able to fight a repressive system, and he was able, through God and everybody’s prayers, to make it today,” she said.

Today also marked the 15th wedding anniversary of Mandela and Graca Machel, the former first lady of Mozambique who has spent much of the time at her husband’s side during his illness.

Many South Africans volunteered 67 minutes for charity to match what organizers said were the 67 years of public service by Mandela, leader of the fight against white minority rule.

“We don’t only recognize him on this day. We put smiles on other people’s faces, we donate to other people less fortunate,” Thato Williams, a 13-year-old student, said during an assembly in Mandela’s honor at Melpark Primary School in Johannesburg. Some 700 students there sang “Happy Birthday” in a hall filled with posters created to honor Mandela’s contributions to peace and education.

President Zuma opened low-cost housing for poor black and white families in the Pretoria area. South Africa is struggling with high unemployment, labor unrest, service delivery shortcomings and other social challenges that have dampened the expectations of a better life for black South Africans after the end of apartheid two decades ago.

Retired archbishop Desmond Tutu helped to paint a school outside Cape Town, saying Mandela makes South Africans “walk tall” and urging compatriots to refrain from divisive behavior.

Elsewhere, social workers, military commanders and private company employees others planted trees, cleaned classrooms and donated food, blankets and other basic necessities in poor areas. Doctors administered eye tests, inoculations and other medical treatments.

Visiting Pretoria, European Union President Herman Van Rompuy packed food parcels and said his two sons were fans of Mandela, whom he described as “the brightest sun of South Africa.”

The U.N has declared July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day as a way of recognizing the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s contribution to reconciliation. A procession was held in India to honor Mandela. In Washington, U.S. congressional leaders planned a ceremony later today.

Mandela was jailed for 27 years under apartheid and led a difficult transition from apartheid to democracy, becoming president in all-race elections in 1994. He served one five-year term, evolving into a global statesman and pursuing charitable causes after that. He retired from public life years ago.

“South Africa is a better place today than it was in 1994 and this is because of the contribution made by Madiba and his collective,” the ruling African National Congress, once led by Mandela, said in a statement.

The ANC was the leading liberation movement during apartheid, and has dominated politics since the end of white rule. However, it has come under increasing criticism because of corruption scandals and frustration over poverty and other problems.

In recent months, the ANC and opposition groups have sought to emphasize their connections to Mandela’s legacy in the fight for democracy, leading to accusations of political opportunism on both sides.

F.W. de Klerk, the last president of the apartheid era, said in a statement that Mandela’s birthday “should be a time for quiet and respectful contemplation — and not for unseemly squabbling over the ownership of Mr Mandela’s heritage.”

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

UCD admits record number; 4,284 from abroad

By Cory Golden | From Page: A1

 
Hub of activity: DHS newspaper keeps evolving

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A1 | Gallery

A springtime ritual

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Tom Adams seeks Davis school board seat

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Tour renovated YCCC facility Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Tour Davis Waldorf School on Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

The fifth annual Tour de Cluck is soon to be hatched

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Ortiz lawn signs available

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sign up soon for spring cooking classes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Robb Davis team to rally on Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Steadfast in their support

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Yolo Hospice offers free grief workshops

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Sign up for Camp Kesem caterpillar crawl

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Quilters gear up for annual show

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A4

League hosts a series of candidate forums

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
KDVS launches fund drive on Monday

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A5

Calling all Scrabble fans

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Hub webpage is seeing traffic increasing

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

Lescroart welcomes all to book-launch party

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A16 | Gallery

 
DEVO set to serve up 14th annual Winkler Dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16 | Gallery

Learn Chinese crafts at I-House

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A16

 
Preschool open house set at Davis Waldorf

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

Birch Lane celebrates its 50th anniversary

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

 
Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

.

Forum

Take ownership of your health

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Keep your baby safe

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Reliving the agony and ecstasy of spring

By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

 
Road diet? No, city diet!

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 2 Comments

 
We’re reveling in our equality

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

Vote no; it’s fiscally responsible

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
Rick McKee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

 
Core values on campus

By Our View | From Page: A12

 
Bill is an affront to UC Davis ag biotech and local farmers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13

Don’t want to sit in Fix 50 traffic? Consider alternatives

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

 
UCD softball shut out by Santa Barbara

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Aggie men shoot 9-under, lead own tourney

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Stars shine in Woody Wilson Classic

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils burn up the track

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
UCD roundup: Aggie baseball swept away by Highlanders

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

A’s score 3 in ninth, rally past Astros 4-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Yolo Federal Credit Union gets WISH funds

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
PG&E pays taxes, fees to county, cities

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Will Davis get an Old Soul?

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9

 
Pediatricians, nurse practitioner hired at Woodland Healthcare

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Asian stocks mostly higher after mixed U.S. earnings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Davis Roots will showcase its graduating startups

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14

University Honda wins another President’s Award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

 
Dutch Bros. raises $19,000 for girl with leukemia

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8