FORMER SOUTH AFRICAN president Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday will be celebrated before the start of the Tour de France’s 16th stage in Pau, organisers said today.
France-South Africa Seasons 2012/2013 organisers have joined forces with Mandela’s family and Tour de France race officials to honour the anti-apartheid icon and a large banner reading “Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela” will be held up by local children before Wednesday’s stage.
Laurent Clavel, Commissioner General of France-South Africa Seasons on the French side, said the event will be witnessed by millions of people across the world.
“While thousands line the route in France, millions follow it on TV,” he added. ”It is an honour to be able to salute Nelson Mandela. The event … will generate a lot of interest in South Africa and will contribute to further cementing the relations between France and South Africa.”