Children bring ailing Mandela flowers

2013-06-08 16:31
Former president Nelson Mandela. (Picture: Nelson Mandela Foundation)

Former president Nelson Mandela. (Picture: Nelson Mandela Foundation)

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Johannesburg - A young boy delivered a bouquet of flowers for former president Nelson Mandela at his Houghton residence on Saturday.

Police shortly deliberated with a man, presumed to be the boy's father before allowing his son to make the delivery.

The boy, who was not older than 5 years old, was carried by his father as he went to hand over the flowers at the gate.

He is one of several children who have expressed well-wishes for the ailing former statesman since news of his hospitalisation.

Earlier, the presidency said Mandela was in a "serious but stable" condition.

He was admitted to hospital due to a recurring lung infection.

Children

"This morning at about 01:30 his condition deteriorated and he was transferred to a Pretoria hospital," spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

He said doctors were doing everything they could to make Mandela "better and comfortable".

"President Jacob Zuma, on behalf of government and the nation, wishes Madiba a speedy recovery and requests the media and the public to respect the privacy of Madiba and his family," Maharaj said.

Children returning from a synagogue earlier on Saturday stopped outside Mandela's house to wish him well.

Sisters Lila Nossel, 7, Avia Nossel, 3, and their friend Hannah-Sophie Sindelman, 6, said they wished Mandela a speedy recovery.

"We wish him well... He must get better soon," they said.

Other than a small contingent of both local and international media camped outside the house, there was hardly any activity.

Earlier, two black cars were seen driving out of the property. It was unclear who was inside the cars.

Security was tight, with police officials refusing to let the media come too close to the house.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has suffered lung ailments before.

On 6 April, he was discharged from hospital after spending nine days receiving treatment for recurring lung problems.

Early in March, he was admitted to a Pretoria hospital for a scheduled check-up and was discharged the following day.

In December last year, Mandela underwent an operation to remove gallstones and treat the recurring lung infection. He was discharged after an 18-day stay and placed under home-based high care at his Houghton home.

In January, the presidency said Mandela had made a full recovery from the surgery and continued to improve. In February last year he was admitted to hospital for a stomach ailment.

At the time, the presidency said Mandela underwent a diagnostic procedure to investigate the cause of a long-standing abdominal complaint.

In January 2011, Mandela was taken to Milpark Hospital for routine tests relating to respiratory problems.

Mandela's last major public appearance was in July 2010, at the final of the FIFA World Cup at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg.

Since then he had spent his time between Johannesburg and his ancestral village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

- SAPA

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  johannesburg
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