The world pays tribute to Mandela (slideshow)
As South Africans come to terms with the loss of former president Nelson Mandela, the rest of the world bids farewell to Madiba.

Pimples: Saving Madiba's rabbit (video)
Gwede, Mac and Blade try their best to stop the rabbit from whispering in Mandela's ear. But the elusive animal has some tricks up its sleeve.

Zapiro's best Madiba cartoons (slideshow)
From his toughest moments to his most triumphant, Madiba has been an inspiration. Here are some of our favourite Zapiro cartoons about him from 1994 to 2013.

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.
Hectic week for Madiba ahead of birthday
Local songbirds and international divas are billed to perform at Nelson Mandela's 85th birthday bash in Sandton on Saturday.

Local songbirds Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Thandiswa Mazwai, and international divas Barbra Streisand and Beyonce Knowles are billed to perform at Nelson Mandela's 85th birthday bash in Sandton on Saturday.

But the former president prefers to hear Happy Birthday sung by his family and a gathering of disabled children at his home on his special day. The Springbok team have also requested to sing Happy Birthday to him.

No additional official or formal events were arranged for the actual birth date, July 18, and Mandela will spend the rest of his birthday with his family.

Madiba had a busy week ahead of his big day. On Monday he addressed the Second International Aids Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment in Paris. Headlines told how he seduced the fashion capital of the world.

On Wednesday Mandela was the guest of honour in Johannesburg, at the Mindset Network Centre, a national broadcast channel on DStv focusing on education.

On Thursday he attended an event at which Minister of Education Kader Asmal presented him with Nelson Mandela: From Freedom to the Future, a book of his speeches and tributes from world leaders, published by Jonathan Ball Publishers.

The book is one of his many birthday gifts. The Nelson Mandela bridge is arguably the biggest of them all. Mandela will cut the ribbon to open the bridge officially on Sunday.

"Planning and preparations for Mr Mandela's birthday were launched as early as February 2002, when a number of ideas and partnerships were suggested by both local and international institutions and companies to celebrate Mr Mandela's birthday during, on and after the day of his birth date," the Nelson Mandela Foundation said in a statement this week.

"Foundation staff, organisers and sponsors have been working intensely to ensure that these birthday celebrations are neither forgotten nor merely being turned into yet another party without substance."

Celebrations will not only honour 85 years of a great man's life, but will also include the launch of a number of annual events that will be supported by the Nelson Mandela Foundation as part of its plans to "Live the Legacy of Nelson Mandela".

As part of the birthday celebrations, the Nelson Mandela Foundation is inaugurating an annual lecture to be addressed by distinguished speakers on social challenges like poverty, the environment, peace, democracy and leadership.

To inaugurate the annual Nelson Mandela Lecture, former United States president Bill Clinton will address more than 1 000 guests at the Nelson Mandela Theatre at the Civic Theatre complex in Johannesburg on Saturday. Graca Machel, a trustee of the foundation, will introduce the lecture.

The highlight of the birthday events will be the banquet to be held in Johannesburg at the Sandton Convention Centre on Saturday. More than 1 600 invited guests from different parts of the world are expected to attend the event.

"All guests invited have a particular relationship to Mr Mandela. The evening will not only pay tribute to Madiba but celebrate his life, his spirit of reconciliation, and will bring together people from all walks of life. Royalty, presidents, diplomats, South African stars, Hollywood stars, politicians, friends and former opponents, and his staff, such as the cook and gardener," the statement said.