Media keep watch at Mandela house

By Drum Digital
04 September 2013

The media continued keeping watch at former president Nelson Mandela's Houghton home on Wednesday, where he is recuperating after being discharged from hospital.

A venerable-looking man, supported by a walking stick, slowly made his way into the main entrance of the 95-year-old statesman's house in the early afternoon.

It was not clear who the man was, or what connection he had to the international peace icon.

One motorist, who claimed to be a Houghton resident, shouted at the journalists and camera people as she drove past.

A member of the local media retorted that they were simply doing their job of keeping the rest of the world in touch with Mandela.

Most motorists passing the house did not even glance at the media encampment, suggesting that locals had grown used to their presence since Mandela's discharge from hospital.

President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday morning that Mandela was responding to treatment at home after being discharged from the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria on Sunday.

He was admitted on June 8 with a lung infection.

On Sunday, Presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj said Mandela's condition remained critical and "at times unstable".

Mandela's home had been reconfigured to ensure he received the correct care. Some staff who had been at the hospital would care for him at home, Maharaj said.

Police kept watch as journalists tried huddling beneath gazebos to keep out of the searing early Spring sunshine diagonally across from the former statesman's mansion.

Cameramen and reporters listlessly discussed their options for lunch and debated whether to have food delivered or risk leaving the media camp and potentially missing any activity that might happen in their absence.

Discarded cigarette butts lay thickly on the curb around the area with the best view of the house -- a monument to the hours news teams had spent waiting there.

-Sapa

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