Prayers for Mandela

2012-12-10 14:34


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Johannesburg - South Africans united to offer prayers for ailing national icon Nelson Mandela on Monday, who is spending a third day in hospital for undefined tests.

Discussion about the health of the anti-apartheid leader featured prominently in newspapers, church services, social media feeds and conversations across the rainbow nation.

Madiba, as he is affectionately known by South Africans, retains a prominent place in the national psyche, despite leaving office more than a decade ago - a lifetime ago in the quick-moving politics of this born-again nation.

"Nation prays for Madiba" was the front-page headline in the Sowetan daily attempting to capture the zeitgeist of a nation.

"The fact is that when Madiba sneezes, South Africa - and the rest of the world - catches a cold," the paper said in an editorial.

"We love Madiba, we feel every inch of anxiety, stress and pain with the rest of his close and distant family. And like concerned loved ones, we want to know how he is doing."

Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Soweto township, a centre of the struggle against apartheid and where Mandela has a house, said prayers during their Sunday service, according to the New Age.

The country's opposition parties joined the chorus of prayers to wish Mandela well.

"When Mandela is admitted to hospital, all of us get affected because we love and care for him," said DA spokesperson Mmusi Maimane.

The Congress of the People expressed the hope that the tests being conducted find Mandela in good health.

But there was also a level of resignation about Mandela's fate - in contrast to the panic of previous health scares - and a sense that Mandela must now be left in peace.

"Dear South Africans, Please let Nelson Mandela go, he is old now and deserves to rest," @ComradeESETHU from Cape Town tweeted.

"Such sensationalism in the media. Yes, I admire Mandela but the man is 94 years old! Whether sick or not, he's not going to live forever," said @SediNtuli from Grahamstown.

The anti-apartheid hero and Nobel Peace Prize laureate was flown from his home village to a hospital in the Pretoria on Saturday.


Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  johannesburg

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