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Happy birthday, Madiba
Birthday wishes poured in on Sunday for former president Nelson Mandela, who turned 86.

Birthday wishes poured in on Sunday for former president Nelson Mandela, who turned 86.

The New National Party in a statement congratulated Mandela and said the nation is indebted to him for the selfless service he continues to give the nation and especially those in need.

"To Mr Mandela there is never a thought spared for himself, it is always for others.

"On the special occasion of his 86th birthday it is our turn as a nation to think about Mr Mandela and to thank him; and to draw from his example by asking how we can help others in need," the NNP said.

The Inkatha Freedom Party said on Saturday South Africa needs the legacy of Mandela's leadership more than ever before to overcome "the seemingly impossible challenges of HIV/Aids, crime, corruption, poverty and unemployment".

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said the legacy has "unfortunately" remained unparalleled.

"We all deeply appreciate all that he continues to do on behalf of our nation, most recently at the HIV/Aids conference in Bangkok," read the statement.

"Through his unstinting work and dedication Madiba has managed to touch the hearts and souls of millions of people across the globe.

"I hope that in turn Madiba and his wife, Graca, will receive back some of the Madiba magic which he so freely and graciously gives on the occasion of his birthday."

Other well-wishers who sent messages to Madiba include the African National Congress, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the Young Communist League of South Africa and the Democratic Alliance.

Mandela planned to spend Sunday with close family members at his ancestral home in Qunu in the Eastern Cape. -- Sapa