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Bill Clinton's special birthday visit to Nelson Mandela

18 JULY 2012

The warm smile and friendly handshake say it all.

Bill Clinton looked delighted to be in Nelson Mandela's company after paying him a visit on the eve of his 94th birthday.

 

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The former US President travelled to his old friend's family compound in Qunu – the picturesque village where the anti-apartheid icon grew up.

Also present at the low-key party were the hero's wife Graça Machel and daughter Zindzi.

Although the men have met on more than one occasion, the US statesman was inspired.

 

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"Even though he will be 94 tomorrow, when I think about Mandela I always think about someone committed to the future," Mr Clinton said afterwards.

"It was a great honour for me to serve as a president of America while Mandela was president of the Republic of South Africa."

The meeting was a rare appearance for the father of the Rainbow Nation.

His frail condition means he has largely withdrawn from public life, and visitors are kept to a minimum. 

Tthe last high profile visit to his home was that of Michelle Obama and her daughters back in June 2011.

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