Madiba ‘making progress’, soldiers stand by in Qunu

2013-03-30 00:00

SOLDIERS in the Eastern Cape have been placed on standby at Qunu, hometown of former president Nelson Mandela.

Although several sources have said it is not going well with Madiba, presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement yesterday that Mandela was in “good spirits” as he continued his hospital stay to receive treatment for a recurring lung infection.

“Mandela is in good spirits and enjoyed a full breakfast this morning,” said Maharaj. “The doctors report that he is making steady progress.”

Maharaj said Mandela remained under treatment and observation after he was taken to an undisclosed hospital just before midnight on Wednesday.

On Thursday, President Jacob Zuma told BBC news that people needed to “slow down the anxiety”.

“In Zulu, when someone passes away who is very old, people say he or she has gone home. I think those are some of the things we should be thinking about,” the news service quoted him as saying.

From what sister paper Beeld has learnt, the army’s support elements have been on standby in the Eastern Cape for the past month.

The soldiers — most of whom are from the Engineers Corps — will provide electricity, water and other logistics in case large numbers of people congregate at Qunu in the near future.

Maharaj said Mandela would remain under observation in hospital.

Tweets poured in from across the world yesterday to wish South Africa’s iconic leader well.

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