Well-wishers stream in for Mandela

2013-07-01 19:17
(Jerome Delay, AP)

(Jerome Delay, AP)

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Pretoria - Prayers and messages of support continued to pour in on Monday at the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, where former president Nelson Mandela remains in a critical condition.

Musician Mzwake Mbuli was one of the many who wished 94-year-old Madiba well.

"Tata is a man who spent 27 years in prison and later had lunch with the widow of the former apartheid ruler," he said.

Mbuli said he had composed a number of songs about Mandela when he was in prison, and after his release in 1990.

Mbuli was convicted of bank robbery and spent some time in prison.

"We had a journey with Tata. I produced a song about his plea for the violence to end in [KwaZulu-Natal] during the black-on-black violence era."

Mandela had pleaded for people to throw their weapons into the sea, said Mbuli.

When Mbuli was arrested in 2002, Mandela visited him in prison and brought him flowers and fruit.

"Madiba brought a basket of fruit and he was allowed to deliver it to me," he said.

Mbuli wished Mandela well, saying his recovery would be an inspiration to South Africans.

Soon after Mbuli left, the National Association of Child-care workers arrived and sang a traditional Xhosa song while beating drums.

The group held a banner with one word "freedom".

Others held placards wishing Mandela well. One read: "We love you, wishing you better health soon."

Co-ordinator of the group, Eunice Mashaya, said they were on their way to a conference in Johannesburg and decided to stop at the hospital.

‘Get well soon’

Earlier, seven people from Jan Celliers Primary School in Johannesburg brought cards and flowers for the wall outside the hospital.

Deputy head girl Kylie Fleischner said she was grateful for what Madiba had done for South Africa.

"Thank you for equal rights. Get well soon," she said.

The "shrine", which continues to grow, was started after Mandela was admitted to the hospital with a recurring lung infection on 8 June.

Monday was Mandela's 24th day in hospital.

Media continued to congregate near the Celliers Street entrance, photographing and filming people dropping off cards and flowers.

On Saturday, President Jacob Zuma said Mandela remained in a critical condition but he hoped for a recovery.

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  jacob zuma

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