Mandela family arrives at hospital

2013-07-05 13:30
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Pretoria - Nelson Mandela's daughter Makaziwe Mandela arrived at the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria on Friday morning to visit her critically ill father.

Police opened the boom-gates at the hospital’s Park Street entrance when they saw the red Range Rover approach.

Granddaughters Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway and Swati Dlamini also arrived to visit the former president.

They left shortly after 11:00.

It had been a quiet morning outside the hospital, with few visitors at the Celliers Street entrance, where part of the wall had been turned into a shrine for Mandela.

It was a colourful display of cards, flowers, balloons, flags, pictures, artwork, teddy bears, family pictures, and posters.

Mandela was admitted to the hospital on 8 June with a recurring lung infection.

Outside the Celliers Street entrance, Gift Mapuka drew a small crowd as he preached and prayed.

"I wanted to share the word of God with the people because I want to share hope with the world," he said.

"We have people crying and people thinking negative things, but we need hope."

Police officers searched all vehicles entering the hospital premises, and used a mirror to look underneath the cars.

On Thursday night, the presidency clarified Mandela's condition, saying he was not in a vegetative state.

Spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement Mandela was under the care of a multi-disciplinary panel of South African medical experts who attended to him 24 hours a day.

"We confirm our earlier statement released this [Thursday] afternoon after President Jacob Zuma visited Madiba in hospital that Madiba remains in a critical but stable condition.

"The doctors deny that the former president is in a vegetative state," he said.

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- SAPA

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