Mandela’s family speaks

2013-06-12 15:19

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Former president Nelson Mandela’s family has thanked millions of well-wishers across the globe for their prayers as the former statesman recovers from a serious condition at a Pretoria hospital.

The AbaThembu chief, who is also Mandela’s grandson, Inkosi Zwelivelile Mandela, popularly known as Mandla, released a statement this afternoon after he and other family members visited the ailing statesman.

The statement followed just minutes after President Jacob Zuma told the National Assembly during his budget speech in Cape Town that Mandela was responding better to treatment than he was before.

Both Zuma and Mandla Mandela’s comments have allayed fears that the former statesman was not doing well in hospital.

Mandla said Madiba’s hospital stay was a “difficult” period for the Mandela family and that “the rest of the family have been heartened by the overwhelming messages of support from the public”.

“For the past few days, since Madiba was admitted to hospital, the family has been deeply touched by the outpour of prayers and the overwhelming messages of goodwill from all South Africans and the international community,” said Mandla Mandela.

The family was also satisfied that Madiba was receiving the best medical care, said Mandla, who had earlier left Madiba’s bedside after a two-hour visit today.

The family also shared the hopes of the world “for Madiba’s recovery”.

“We are fully cognisant of the fact that millions of people in the country and around the world regard Madiba as their parent and therefore are as much concerned about his well-being as we are.

“The family would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the South African government, the African National Congress and the doctors in charge of Madiba’s health during this period.” said Mandla Mandela.

The family was also happy with the “sterling work by the presidency in keeping the public updated about Madiba’s health”.

Mandla arrived earlier this morning, with Madiba’s wife Graça Machel.

Other members of the family who were seen entering the hospital were grandchildren Ndaba and his aunt Zenani, who arrived from Argentina where she is South Africa’s ambassador.

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