Madiba’s final days were wonderful – Makaziwe

2013-12-09 15:53

Doctors attending to former president Nelson Mandela in his final hours warned the family he was slipping away, Makaziwe Mandela has said.

“...They [the doctors] told us Thursday morning that there was nothing that they could do, and said to me: ‘Maki call everybody that is here that wants to see him and say bye bye’...” Mandela’s eldest daughter told BBC World News in an interview today.

She described Mandela’s final days as “wonderful” because he was surrounded by his loved ones.

“I think from last week Friday until Thursday, it was a wonderful time, if you can say the process of death is wonderful, but Tata had a wonderful time, because we were there...” she said in her first interview since her father’s death.

“It was a most wonderful day for us because the grandchildren were there, we were there, the professional doctors...”

Mandela died at his Houghton home in Johannesburg on Thursday, after a long battle with a recurring lung ailment.

Makaziwe Mandela praised the doctors for their dedication in looking after the 95-year-old statesman 24 hours a day.

“Being there it was like there were soldiers guarding, soldiers guarding the spirit of the king – yes, my father comes from royalty – without them knowing they were actually practising our rituals and culture...

“They were there in silence and when we, as family members, came in, they would excuse themselves and just a few of them would be there to give us the time to be around my dad’s bed.

“And so even for the grandchildren, I think it was a wonderful moment...”

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