South Africa's Mandela celebrates party's 100th

Nelson Mandela

This video image taken from SABC television shows South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela as he receiving a torch to celebrate the African National Congress' centenary from ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete, unseen, in Mandela's home village Qunu in rural eastern South Africa Wednesday May 30, 2012. Nelson Mandela's African National Congress brought its centenary celebrations to his home village in rural eastern South Africa. (AP Photo/SABC via AP video) SOUTH AFRICA OUT

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Nelson Mandela's African National Congress brought its centenary celebrations to his home village in rural eastern South Africa Wednesday.

State television released images of a delegation led by the governing party's national chairperson, Baleka Mbete, visiting the anti-apartheid icon's Qunu home with a barrel-sized replica of the torch lit during the party's 100th anniversary celebrations earlier this year. Mandela, surrounded by grandchildren and his wife, spoke briefly as he sat in an armchair, telling Mbete he was happy to see her.

Mbete joked that she wasn't sure what was warming her more, being near Mandela or being near the lit torch. She added that he should enjoy his retirement, but "we want you to know that we miss you all the time."

Mandela, who makes few public appearances, arrived in Qunu on Tuesday from Johannesburg, where he also has a home. Next month is his 94th birthday, and he often celebrates birthdays in the village where he grew up.

In February, Mandela was hospitalized in Johannesburg for a test to determine the cause of an undisclosed stomach ailment.

The Nobel peace laureate spent 27 years in prison for fighting racist rule. He became South Africa's first black president in 1994 and served one five-year term.

Associated Press
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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