Winnie cries as she leaves hospital

2011-01-27 12:22

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was in tears after visiting Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg today where former president Nelson Mandela was being treated.

She wiped her eyes and blew her nose as she left the hospital around 1.30pm.

Madikizela-Mandela was with Mandela’s eldest grandson, chief Mandla Mandela and other family members.

Anti-apartheid activist Albertina Sisulu earlier entered the hospital in a wheelchair and was later seen driving out. She smiled and waved at photographers.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, Mandela’s personal assistant Zelda la Grange, and the daughter of Mandela’s wife Graca Machel arrived earlier.

Senior military officials were also seen entering hospital grounds.

Three journalists from a Chinese news agency who managed to sneak past security and get into the hospital had their cameras confiscated by police. Media were barred from entering the hospital premises and could only get a clear view of the area by parking on a nearby bridge, overlooking the hospital.

Police questioned the journalists about how they got into the facility and searched their pockets.

A police officer at the scene said to one of them: “If you’re bad to us we will be bad to you.”

As they drove out of the hospital gates, police returned their cameras.

Police and sniffer dogs earlier scoured the area around a temporary barricade of dark green shade netting and potplants set up to hide the rear entrance.

There has been no word on the 92-year-old statesman’s condition. The hospital was not planning to comment.

Mandela was admitted there yesterday for what the Nelson Mandela Foundation called “routine tests”.

The hospital public relations officer was seen taking refreshments and newspapers into the wing where Mandela was being treated.

The ANC Youth League sent its best wishes: “Nelson Mandela remains our greatest inspiration in everything we do and we confident [sic] that he will stay strong.”

The Star newspaper reported today that Mandela was seen by Professor Michael Plit, a specialist pulmonologist (who deals with diseases of the respiratory system).

“He has been admitted for investigation,” Plit was quoted as saying.

He would not say what Mandela’s condition was or if he had examined him, except to say he had seen him.

The newspaper described him as Mandela’s personal physician.

On the National Asthma Education Programme website, Plit describes his medical interests as obstructive lung diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu issued a statement calling for the media to stop speculating about Mandela’s health and allow the family privacy.

“We appeal, particularly to the media fraternity to refrain from making unfounded and unwarranted speculation in relation to Madiba’s health,” he said.

“In the same vein we also request the media, in particular, to give Madiba’s family and the hospital the necessary privacy.”

He said South Africans would be informed of any change, including if Mandela were to be discharged from hospital.

This morning, one of Mandela’s bodyguards asked police in the parking area to “clear this space for us for when we come out”.

Beeld newspaper reported that it appeared Mandela was in the hospital’s private unit for burn victims.

The unit’s windows were covered to ensure privacy and only one person was allowed in at a time.

CNN reported last night that Mandela was flown from Cape Town to Milpark Hospital and brought to the hospital by military ambulance.

Hospital spokesperson Erin Walsh would not comment.

“It is our policy to respect patients and we would not give any details about the admission to anyone expect the family,” she said.

The Star reported that a Facebook post by Mandela’s granddaughter, Zoleka Mandela, read: “I really hate to see you this way. It kills me each time. Know that i’m here for you as I believe you have always been there for me. You are never alone in this. We are all with you each and every step of the way. All you need to do is remember that you us at your back (sic) and call. I love you. You already know this. Spending my next few days with you just so I know that you’ll be ok! I’m saddened...”

The Nelson Mandela Foundation issued a brief statement just after 4pm yesterday reading: “We can confirm that Mr Mandela is at Milpark Hospital undergoing routine tests. He is in no danger and is in good spirits.”

There had been no further word from the foundation by 1.30pm today.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.