Waiting and praying

2013-06-10 00:00

AS the world held its breath last night, the government had nothing to say on the condition of former president Nelson Mandela.

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj refused to give an update on Mandela’s health to The Witness yesterday, saying he would only release a statement when it was ready.

On Saturday, he said Mandela was in a “serious but stable” condition.

Meanwhile, ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said no one knows when God will call Madiba.

Mthembu said people must prepare for the worst, because Mandela is an old man who is sick. He reminded everyone that all of us will die one day, as we are made of flesh and blood, as is Madiba.

Mandela (94) was admitted to hospital early on Saturday morning due to his recurring lung infection.

This is the third time this year that he has been admitted to hospital.

Word from the presidency yesterday afternoon was that Madiba was breathing on his own, as it had said on Saturday afternoon.

The presidency said Mandela’s wife, Graça Machel, was by his side when he was admitted. She had been scheduled to speak at a conference in London, but cancelled her appointment at the function on Thursday as Mandela’s health worsened.

Several members of the family have been seen arriving at the hospital, where phalanxes of media from all over the world have set up outside broadcast units on the pavement.

When it became known that Mandela was in hospital again messages of support started to stream in from all over the world.

Justicie Minister Jeff Radebe yesterday added his voice to the masses who are keeping Mandela in their thoughts, reports Hanti Otto.

His first words at a media conference in Pretoria, where a list of names of corrupt persons was made public, were to wish Mandela well along with the rest of the world.

From the U.S. the spokesperson for the National Security Council Caitlin Hayden also wished Madiba well, reports Sapa.

Many tweets are meanwhile being sent with messages of support and well wishes. David Smith, the Africa correspondent of the Guardian, tweeted: “Spoke to Zindzi Mandela who said: ‘I’ve seen my father and he’s well. He’s a fighter’.”

At the Regina Mundi Catholic church in Soweto, hundreds gathered yesterday to pray for Mandela at Sunday Mass.

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