Nelson Mandela celebrates ANC centenary (VIDEO)


This photograph of Nelson Mandela was released by the Mandela Foundation on the eve of his 92nd birthday. (Debbie Yazbek/Nelson Mandela Foundation)

Former South African President Nelson Mandela made a rare television appearance as he celebrated the African National Congress' centenary on Wednesday, according to Agence France Presse.

The ANC's chairwoman, Baleka Mbete presented Mandela with a symbolic torch to mark his party's centenary at his rural home in his birthplace, Qunu.

Mandela smiled as he accepted the flame, its handle emblazoned with the party's colors, said AFP.

An ANC delegation visited the anti-apartheid icon's home with a barrel-sized replica of the torch which was lit during the party's 100th anniversary celebrations earlier this year, reported the Associated Press.

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Mandela, seated in an armchair with a blanket thrown over his legs and surrounded by his wife and grandchildren, told Mbete he was happy to see her.

Mbete said Mandela should enjoy his retirement but added that "we want you to know that we miss you all the time," according to the AP.

This was Mandela's first public appearance in seven months, and his first since a hospital stay in February for an abdominal examination, according to Reuters.

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Mandela, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end apartheid and served one term, which ended in 1999, as South Africa's first black president, returned to his birthplace last week.

NBC News noted that the 93-year-old Mandela will be celebrating his birthday next month.

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Here is a video report of Mandela accepting the torch, from NBC News:

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