Thousands of South Africans on Sunday devoted time to helping their fellow citizens in honour of former President and national hero Nelson Mandela’s 92nd birthday as the world celebrated Nelson Mandela International Day on Sunday.

The statesman had appealed for his birthday to be used for good. Scores of businesses and public institutions mobilised their staff to devote at least 67 minutes - representing the 67 years Mr. Mandela devoted to politics — to a good cause.

According to local media reports, numerous people on Sunday fed street children, repaired decaying infrastructure or dedicated time to other humanitarian deeds.

Sunday also marked the 12th anniversary of his marriage to his third wife, Graca Machel.

A day earlier, 95 children from Mr. Mandela’s birthplace, Mvezo, and the village where he grew up, Qunu, were flown to Johannesburg to celebrate with him.

Mr. Mandela has curtailed his public appearances due to his health. He did, however, attend part of the World Cup’s closing ceremony on July 11, where a star-struck crowd of more than 84,000 spectators cheered him as he was driven around the pitch in a golf cart with Ms. Machel.

Mr. Mandela spent 27 years in prison between 1963 and 1990 for resisting apartheid rule. On his release, he led negotiations with his former jailors for the transition of the country to democracy.

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