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South Africa honors Mandela with acts of kindness

Organizers urged citizens to devote time to charity and public service.
By Ed Adamczyk   |   July 18, 2014 at 12:44 PM

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 18 (UPI) -- The first Nelson Mandela Day was celebrated in South Africa Friday with a campaign of kindness, on what would have been Mandela's 96th birthday.

Organizers suggested South Africans dedicate 67 minutes of their day to helping others, in recognition of Mandela's 67 years of public service.

Mandela, whose 27-year prison term for opposition to South Africa's apartheid policies was followed by the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize and the country's presidency from 1994 to 1999, died in December. The United Nations, in 2009, declared July 18 Nelson Mandela Day.

South African President Jacob Zuma urged citizens to honor Mandela with acts of charity, and suggested the cleaning of their surroundings, noting that working to "build their beautiful country" was what Mandela taught them to do.

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