'World's oldest woman' dies

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South African Moloko Temo, a grandmother-of-29, passed away on Wednesday, officials near her home said.

Mrs Temo said she was born on July 4, 1874 – making her at least five years older than any other claimant to the title of world's oldest person.

Despite Mrs Temo's claim to be the world's oldest woman, her age was never formally verified by the Guinness Book of Records.

The officially-recognised world's oldest woman, Portuguese grandmother Maria de Jesus, died in January aged 115.

If her story is true, it meant she lived throughout the entire twentieth century, an incredibly turbulent period in South African politics.

The apparent year of her birth, 1874, saw English, Boer and African armies battle for control of the colony.

She later survived the horrors of apartheid before reaching the age of 109 when Nelson Mandela was elected president in 1994.

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