South Africans pray for Mandela

 

Police officers present flowers to former South African president Nelson Mandela outside

the hospital where Mandela is treated in Pretoria, South Africa, on June 25, 2013.  

Photo by Li Qihua

 

 

South Africans pray for Mandela

 

By Gu Yuan

As South Africa’s anti- apartheid icon Nelson Mandela remains in critical condition in hospital, many interviewed by Xinhua say they are hoping for the best.

“We all love him but there is nothing we can do. Look at what is happening (at the hospital). We are expressing our love to him. We can’t stop anything, but nothing can stop us to love him,” Pheko Mawewe, a member of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) youth League, told Xinhua. People are ready to accept “what ever doctors will say,” he said. Mandela’s health continued to make headlines on Wednesday. All major newspapers carried stories about his condition on the front page.

“In struggle we loved him. In jail we loved him and hospital we love him. What ever happens we will continue to love him, he is our true hero. He will remain our father wherever he goes,” 73- year-old Anti-apartheid struggle activist William Moshanyana said.

People from all walks of life gathered outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where Mandela is battling for his life, praying and singing hymns and psalms to their beloved statesman.

Some came with cards and balloons with words: “Get well soon Nelson Mandela”; “We wish you well, you are our hero.”

Mandela, 94, has been hospitalized since June 8 for a recurring lung infection. This is his fourth hospitalization since December last year.

“Madiba suffered a lot in the struggle fighting for us, he suffered a lot in jail and now again in hospital. It’s now time that we say to him: Rest in peace our hero. As South Africans we are now ready to accept what ever doctors say,” 43-year-old Neo Masopha said.

President Jacob Zuma on Sunday evening announced that Mandela’s condition had deteriorated to “critical” condition. Again on Monday and Tuesday he said Mandela’s “condition remain unchanged. ”

On Tuesday top members of Mandela’s family held an urgent meeting in his rural village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape Province. The meeting, called to discuss “sensitive matters”, was also attended by local chiefs and senior government officials.

“He (Mandela) has done a lot for us and his legacy will continue to lead us. The foundation he laid for us is strong to lead us many years to come and to the next generation,” said Kutloano Moeketsi, a University of Johannesburg student.

“Its time we allow him to rest in peace. Yes, we love him, but considering his age and his condition let’s accept that anything can happen now,” Moshanyana added.

“Whatever happens, Mandela’s legacy will remain with us. What is important is that our leaders carry out this legacy and pass it to the next generations,” Mawewe said.

Mandela devoted his life to reconciliation among all South Africans.

“I don’t think South Africans will abandon the Mandela magic that united them — blacks and whites. He will continue to be our unifying factor,” said Sabelo Ndlovu Gastheni, University of South Africa (UNISA) professor of Africa Developmental Studies.

Mandela rooted the spirit of love and unity in this country and anyone who will try to destroy this will be enemy to all, he said.

 

 

Stones praying for former South African President Nelson Mandela’s health are laid in the garden 

near Mandela’s Houghton house in Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 25, 2013.  

Photo by Guo Xinghua

 

Police officers present flowers to former South African president Nelson Mandela outside the

hospital where Mandela is treated in Pretoria, South Africa, on June 25, 2013.    

Photo by Li Qihua

 

Media workers gather at former South African President Nelson Mandela’s Houghton house

in Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 25, 2013.   Photo by Guo Xinghua

 

 

 

NEW POST   updated on June 27

 

Mandela’s health improves: Presidency 

 

By Gu Yuan

Former South African President Nelson Mandela’s health has improved but he remains in a critical condition, the Presidency said on Thursday of June 27.

“President Jacob Zuma visited former President Nelson Mandela in hospital in Pretoria today, June 27, and was informed by the medical team that Madiba’s condition has improved during the course of the night. He remains critical but is now stable,” presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said.

“I cancelled my visit to Mozambique today so that I could see him and confer with the doctors. He is much better today than he was when I saw him last night. The medical team continues to do a sterling job,” Zuma was quoted as saying.

“We must pray for Tata’s health and wish him well. We must also continue with our work and daily activities while Madiba remains hospitalized,” Zuma said.

The Presidency is disturbed by the rumors that are being spread about Mandela’s health, Maharaj said.

“We appeal for respect for the privacy and dignity of the former president,” Maharaj said in a statement.

A member of Mandela’s family reportedly confirmed that the former president was on life support, raising fears that the anti- aparthied icon might lose his struggle for his long-time illness — lung infection.

Traditional leader and African National Congress (ANC) MP Phathekile Holomisa said in remarks published by Eyewitness News earlier Thursday that the Mandela family are hoping for a “miracle” to help the much-loved former president.

“The Mandela family wish a miracle would happen that he recovers, but at the same time they are aware that there’s a limit to the miracles you can have,” said Holomisa, a longtime friend of Mandela.

Mandela, who was admitted to a Pretoria hospital on June 8, has been in a critical condition since Sunday of June 23.

 

 

NEW POST    updated on June 28

 

Mandela’s condition continues

to improve: ex-wife

 

By Gu Yuan

Former South African President Nelson Mandela’s condition continues to improve, Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said on Friday of  June 28.

Her remarks followed an announcement by President Jacob Zuma on Thursday that Mandela’s condition had improved, but he was still in a critical condition.

Mandela’s family was happy that the former statesman was showing a “great improvement” in his health compared to a few days ago, Winnie said in Soweto in southeastern Johannesburg, according to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

Winnie was speaking at a house which Mandela stayed before he was sent to prison.

“I’m not a doctor, but I can say that from what he was a few days ago there is great improvement,” Winnie said.

Friday is Mandela’s 21st day in hospital where he is receiving treatment for a lung infection. That is one of his longest hospital stay since December.

An official update on Mandela’s health is expected to be issued later Friday after Zuma visits Mandela.

Mandela’s eldest daughter Makaziwe told SABC on Thursday that when they spoke to Mandela, he was trying to open his eyes. She said Mandela could also feel when family members touched him.

 

 

 

NEW POST   updated on June 29

 

Mandela makes progress: official

 

By Gu Yuan

Former South African President Nelson Mandela was making progress, Speaker of the National Assembly Max Sisulu said on Saturday of June 29.

Sisulu visited Mandela at the Pretoria Heart hospital on Saturday, according to the South African Press Association.

“We are pleased with the progress Madiba is making,” he said.

“We love him dearly and don’t want to let him go,” Sisulu said.

Earlier in the day, South African President Jacob Zuma said that Mandela “remains critical but stable, nothing has changed so far”.

“That’s where the situation is. We are hoping it is going to improve,” he said.

“We hope very soon he will be out of hospital,” Zuma said in a televised press conference with visiting U.S. President Barack Obama.

The day of Saturday is the 22nd day of Mandela’s hospital stay, one of his longest since December. Mandela has been suffering from a lung infection which was the result of tuberculosis developed when he was serving prison terms under the apartheid rule.

 

 

 

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