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Mandela Marries Beloved On 80th

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CBS
South African President Nelson Mandela has celebrated his 80th birthday by marrying his long-time sweetheart, Graca Machel, at his home in a posh Johannesburg suburb Saturday.CBS News Correspondent Sarah Carter reports.

Sarah Carter Has The Report

Machel's late husband was president of Mozambique. She is a lawyer and international campaigner for human rights.

For some time, Mandela insisted Machel be treated as South Africa's first lady even though they repeatedly said they had no plans to wed. They continued to deny marriage plans, even after Archbishop Desmond Tutu light-heartedly chastised them for setting a bad example for young people.

It's Mandela's third marriage and the second for Machel. As Mandela marks his 80th birthday Saturday, a dizzying round of celebrations are already under way in his country.

Mandela, credited with leading his nation out of apartheid and down the path to racial reconciliation, has announced plans to step down as president next year. He is said to be making plans for peaceful retirement.


Mandela celebrates his 80th birthday.
Mandela kicked off his birthday celebrations Thursday, hosting a party in the Kruger game reserve for more than 1,000 orphans. He then cut a huge cake, in the shape of his trademark colorful casual shirts.

The joyous party at Skukuza rest camp in the Kruger National Park was the first of many events to mark the birthday of Madiba, Mandela's clan name by which he is affectionately known around South Africa.

Madiba fever has gripped South Africa and almost everybody is seeking a piece of the action, from the diplomats invited to Sunday's banquet to ordinary people flooding a special Internet web site with birthday greetings.

CBS News Correspondent Sarah Carter reports that Mandela's African name means "stirring up trouble," and at the height of apartheid, Mandela did just that.

Sarah Carter Reports

As leader of the African National Congress, he became South Africa's most wanted man, and he was labeled a terrorist for preaching defiance against white rule. So powerful was Mandela's image that everything about him was banned.

Betrayed by an informer, Mandela was arrested and charged with sabotage. A guilty verdict committed him to life imprisonment. But, instead of silencing him, his sentence turned him into a martyr, making him one of the world's most famous politicl prisoners.


Casting his vote
And then, finally, after 27 years, Mandela was freed after lengthy secret negotiation. Thrust into the limelight, he helped negotiate a peaceful end to white rule. It was not long before he was elected president of his country.