Archbishop Joe Seoka used the eve of the sorrow-tinged anniversary to urge South Africans to rally together. "God is using Madiba, and his extended illness, to present to us a great challenge to unite behind the values that he represents," the Pretoria archbishop said.

Mandela was rushed to the Pretoria Mediclinic Heart Hospital on June 8 with a recurring lung infection. The last two months have seen a series of scares for the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and for the country where he is considered a living saint.

Mandela's 95th birthday on July 18 saw the family gathered at his bedside for a celebration. Across the country there was an outpouring of charitable deeds, with many people offering 67 minutes of service for the 67 years he was in public service.


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