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Ailing Mandela Turns 95

South Africans Celebrate Mandela's 95th Birthdayi
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July 18, 2013
July 18 is the 95th birthday of former South African President Nelson Mandela, who has been hospitalized with a lung infection for more than five weeks. In honor of the antiapartheid leader's legacy, the United Nations has designated July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day. Supporters in South Africa are celebrating Mandela's birthday with song, dance, and messages of support to the former leader. In Johannesburg, Mandela's ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela led a prayer service in his honor. (Reuters)

WATCH: South Africans celebrate Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday.

As former South African President Nelson Mandela marks his 95th birthday, current President Jacob Zuma has issued a statement saying that the iconic leader's condition is improving even though he remains in hospital.

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have sent their wishes and prayers to Mandela to mark his birthday on July 18.

The Obamas say the world can honor Mandela by heeding his example and serving others.

In recognition of his legacy, the United Nations has designated July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day.

Mandela was hospitalized in Pretoria on June 8 with a lung infection.

  • Well-wishers write messages of support outside the hospital in Pretoria where Mandela is being treated.
  • A well-wisher prays in front of the hospital.
  • Children sing "Happy Birthday" to Mandela.
  • A young member of the Maitibolo Cultural Troupe poses in front of a picture of Mandela.



Based on reporting by AP, dpa, and Reuters

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