Allow Mandela to age with dignity - Zuma

2011-02-10 22:07

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma urged South Africans Thursday to let Nelson Mandela grow old with dignity on the eve of the 21st anniversary of his release from jail.

Delivering his annual State of the Nation address, Zuma said Mandela was receiving good medical care after his recent hospital stay for an acute respiratory infection and should be allowed to recover in privacy.

"We need to accept the reality that President Mandela, who is loved by all of us, young and old, men and women, black and white, is not young anymore," Zuma said.

"He will, from time to time, visit medical facilities for checkups, which is normal for a person of his age. We should allow him to do so with dignity, and give the family and the medical team the space to look after him, on our behalf, in privacy."

Mandela's grandson Mandla, a traditional chief, member of parliament and head of the family, said before the president's speech that his grandfather was doing well.

"My grandfather is doing all right," he said.

"We have as a family welcomed people's contribution in ensuring that my grandfather gets better."

Free man

Dressed for the opening of parliament in traditional Xhosa attire with a lion's skin over one shoulder, Mandela said the family left medical issues to his grandfather's doctors but welcomed prayers from South Africans and the international community.

"We continue to hope that he gains his strength and he continues to enjoy 21 years of his freedom as a free man living in South Africa unconditionally."

Mandela was released from 27 years in prison on February 11 1990, ushering in an inclusive democracy four years later after decades of white-minority rule.

The Mandela family plans to mark the anniversary at home with Madiba whose health caused a wave of concern last month when he was admitted to Johannesburg's Milpark Hospital for a two-day stay.

"We usually gather at home and spend that time with the family and my grandfather to celebrate his 21 years of him being a free man and a free citizen of South Africa," Mandela said.

"So we'll probably mostly be gathered at home tomorrow."

The 92-year-old Nobel peace prize winner, who stepped down after serving just one five-year term as president, was likely to watch Zuma deliver speech on television in Johannesburg, his grandson said earlier in the day.

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  jacob zuma  |  parliament 2011  |  state of the nation

Read News24’s Comments Policy 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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Hottie of the day: Charlotte

Meet our hottie of the day, Charlotte. She feels sexiest after a good workout at the gym!

This is why guys shouldn’t be in photos
BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike
Want to start talking dirty?
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Enjoy the view because as from tomorrow you are going to need to come back down to earth and join the party. In the meantime more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.