With chants of “ Madiba Tujhe Salaam ” and pictures of the former South African president being held aloft, the Capital celebrated Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday on Thursday. School children sang songs and raised slogans while those who have met and spent time with Mr. Mandela shared their anecdotes and wished him a speedy recovery.

“I heard through messages from South Africa that Mr. Mandela is recovering and we hope he will be going home very soon,” said Malose William Mogale, the acting High Commissioner of South Africa here. Meanwhile, Mr. Mandela spent his birthday in a Pretoria hospital.

Life of peace

Mr. Mogale spoke fondly about the former President and said his life stood for peace and democracy. “His life is intertwined with the life of the African National Congress,” he said, addressing an audience of students, teachers, academics and diplomats at India International Centre here.

Referring to Mr. Mandela, former High Commissioner of India to Pretoria Shiv Shankar Mukherjee said: “He not only liberated a nation but liberated humanity.” The South African High Commission will engage in 67 minutes of community service at the Earth Saviours Foundation on Friday to mark the former President and anti-apartheid leader’s 67 years of public service.

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