19 Jul 2009

South Africa celebrates birthday of Nelson Mandela

8:08 am on 19 July 2009

South Africa is celebrating the first official "Mandela Day" marking Nelson Mandela's 91st birthday.

"Mandela Day" is to be held on 18 July every year to mark the former president's birthday.

Mr Mandela called on South Africans and people in other countries to spend 67 minutes doing voluntary work in their community.

This number reflects the years since he began fighting against apartheid in South Africa. Mr Mandela says the day should be given over to public service.

Mr Mandela spent his birthday with relatives and politicians including the current South African President, Jacob Zuma.