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S Africans in preparation for Mandela Day

Updated: 2013-07-01 23:28
( Xinhua)

S Africans in preparation for Mandela Day

Wellwishers sing and dance in support of ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela outside the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital where he is being treated in Pretoria July 1, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

JOHANNESBURG - South Africans are make preparations for the Nelson Mandela International Day, which falls on July 18.

The Mandela Day is celebrated internationally every year in honor of the anti-apartheid icon.

The ailing former president, 94, is spending his 23rd day in hospital in Pretoria after admitted on June 8 with the serious recurring lung infection.

Pick n Pay, one of the big supermarkets in South Africa, is collecting books to distribute to various schools in South Africa as part of the celebration of the Mandela Day.

Pick n Pay said in a statement released on Monday, "Books open a door to a whole new world. Let us not forget that Mandela has spoken about how reading sustained and kept him and his fellow prisoners up to date with the real world while they were imprisoned on Robben Island."

The motto of the Mandela Day is "Take Action, Inspire Change, Make Every Day a Mandela Day".

The book project is expected to benefit more than 94 schools across the country, promoting educational development.

Sello Hatang, the spokesperson for the Nelson Mandela Center of Memory, said various sectors in the country have pledged to support the Mandela Day.

"Just as we encourage youth to actively participate in the Mandela Day, we also acknowledge the importance of literacy at a young age," he said.

Hatang encouraged South Africans to donate books in any of the country's 11 official languages.

Bikers will raise funds for charity called Biking for Mandela, while some will walk 10-20 km as part of the celebration of the Mandela Day.

On the birthday of Mandela, many people in the country will voluntarily do the 67-minute good for the public communities.

Some residents will donate to the poor, while other residents  will assist the sick at the hospitals.

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