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Mandela: SA's greatest son laid to rest (slideshow)
The world watched as Nelson Mandela was finally laid to rest in his hometown of Qunu following a dignified and moving funeral ceremony on Sunday.
Madiba the beloved
Former South African President Nelson Mandela is being honoured online ahead of his 85th birthday -- on Friday July 18.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela is being honoured online ahead of his 85th birthday -- on Friday July 18.

The South African based International Marketing Council and the Nelson Mandela Foundation have created a link to a Mandela birthday page -- on

Tributes have steadily been flowing in and already run to six pages.

One from Scott Baxter of Newcastle, England says simply: "Happy Birthday Nelson we have just done a mini-project on you and you are really cool. Thanks. PS Can you send me an e-mail of your autograph please."

The former president, who spent 27 years as a political prisoner under apartheid before being released in 1990, has been described in one birthday message -- from Anselm Ahamefule of Sydney Australia -- as "Your Highness, You are the King of Africa."

Another from Ryan J Williamson of Polokwane, South Africa, says: "May God bless you to reach 100 years. You are an idol and you were just what this beautiful country of ours needed. We all love you and may God really bless your soul... We love you to bits."

Another from James Kapu -- of Rome, Italy -- reads: " ... thank you for ensuring that we Africans can now walk tall and full of pride after years of oppression and humiliation".

The former president, the first black president in the new non-racial democracy, ruled from 1994 to 1999 before handing power to his successor Thabo Mbeki.

Former United States President Bill Clinton will deliver the inaugural Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture -- the first in a series of public lectures featuring the best intellectual voices in the world -- on Saturday at the Nelson Mandela Theatre in Johannesburg to an invited audience of 1 000 people.

The Foundation notes that it will be "making sure that the lecture reaches a far larger audience -- estimated at "in excess of a million people" -- through television, newspapers and journals. - I-Net Bridge