First Mandela visitors arrive late

2013-06-26 14:43

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, ex-wife of ailing former president Nelson Mandela, has been the first Mandela family member to arrive for her daily visit to Madiba at the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria today.

Before her arrival just after 1.30pm, none of the Mandela family members, including his children and grandchildren, had arrived at the hospital, breaking a pattern of visits in the past two weeks when family members had visited Madiba from early morning.

Mandela is receiving treatment for a recurring lung infection. His health condition has been described as critical, with the Citizen going as far as reporting that the 94-year-old was on life support.

Winnie was accompanied by her daughter, Zindzi. Their car was accompanied by a VIP Protection vehicle.

Earlier today a church choir and a group of pre-schoolers sang church songs and the national anthem outside the hospital where the police presence has increased.

About 15 preschoolers from the Thand’ Uxolo Day Care Centre in Katlehong painted a huge banner using their handprints and wrote their names with a message wishing Mandela a speedy recovery.

The toddlers then recited the national anthem and a special poem they wrote which included words of encouragement that Mandela must “hold on” to life.

Reporters have had their eyes glued to the entrances of the hospital, in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the AbaThembu elders who were reportedly set to visit Madiba today.

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