Family buries hatchet for Madiba
Nelson Mandela will be surrounded by his family when he blows out 94 candles on his birthday cake today.
Despite recent tensions flaring up between members of the Mandela family, there will be a display of unity at the former president's celebration lunch in Qunu in the Eastern Cape.
And a very tight guest list has been drawn up for the icon's birthday celebrations.
The Times understands that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and her children and grandchildren, his current wife, Graça Machel, and his grandchildren from his first wife, including chief Mandla Mandela, will attend.
Among the politicians invited to the lunch are Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula and Julius Malema.
Nelson Mandela Foundation spokesman Sello Hatang said: "The Mandela family is gathered in Madiba's home town and they have prepared special celebrations. that will be apart from public celebrations."
Even former US president Bill Clinton visited Mandela in Qunu yesterday, though it is not known if he wi ll attend today's birthday celebrations.
He will, however, attend the opening of a container library at No-Moscow Primary school in Qunu.
Hatang confirmed Clinton's attendance at the Nelson Mandela Museum, saying: "Bill Clinton is present in the Eastern Cape to celebrate Tata's birthday and he will also deliver a speech on the legacy of Nelson Mandela's life."
Madiba's birthday will be celebrated across the world.
In South Africa, several schools, NGOs, individuals, organisations and celebrities will make use of the 67 minutes dedicated to making a change on Mandela Day:
- NGO Cheesekids is encouraging residents of Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town to take part in cleaning up their communities.
- Bikers for Mandela Day will ride for Madiba. Their journey will start at Montecasino and end in Pretoria.
- CYCaline is an initiative started by a group of Grade 11s. They will cycle from Johannesburg to Durban, with the aim of creating ubuntu among themselves and spreading it to every place along their journey.
- Wits University has planned a plant-a-tree day in local schools to contribute to the environment.