Nelson Mandela

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Still Around

The Nelson Mandela Foundation wants the world to know that its 89-year-old namesake is very much alive. It seems that a line Bush used at his news conference last week left that fact in doubt -- at least for some people.

"I thought an interesting comment was made -- somebody said to me, I heard somebody say, 'Now, where's Mandela?' Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas," Bush said last week. "He was a brutal tyrant that divided people up and split families. And people are recovering from this. So there's the psychological recovery that is taking place."

The president's point, of course, was that leaders capable of fostering reconciliation in Iraq, as Mandela has in South Africa, were systematically killed by Hussein. But given Bush's well-earned reputation for struggling with the language, some people were not sure what he meant.

After Bush's comments circled the globe, the Mandela Foundation felt compelled to set the record straight. "All we can do is reassure people, especially South Africans, that President Mandela is alive," Achmat Dangor, the foundation's chief executive officer, told Reuters on Friday.

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