Mandela: What will Zuma say?

2013-06-27 14:08

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All eyes are on what the presidency will say next after President Jacob Zuma spent 45 minutes at the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital where former president Nelson Mandela is being treated.

It was Zuma’s fourth visit to the hospital since the 94-year-old Madiba was admitted for a recurring lung infection more than two weeks ago.

Zuma was seated alone in the back seat of a BMW, escorted by his VIP protectors.

Speculation has been rife about Madiba’s state of health since Zuma cancelled a scheduled visit to neighbouring Mozambique last night where he was due to attend a Southern African Development Community summit on infrastructure investment.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, her deputy, Thabang Makwetla and Mandela’s grandchildren were among the visitors spotted at the hospital today.

Mandela family members, including his daughter Makaziwe and his grandchildren Makaziwe, Ndaba, Kweku and Ndileka walked to the entrance of the hospital earlier in the morning to pick up cards with messages and bouquets from what has been dubbed the “remembrance wall”, where they were swamped by the media contingent stationed outside the hospital.

Ndileka told reporters that the Mandela family was “anxious” about the world icon’s hospitalisation and that her grandfather was “critical but stable”.

“(We get) lots of comfort from the messages of support. It’s harder going through this in the public eye,” said Ndileka.

Makaziwe told the SABC the international media had “crossed boundaries” while reporting about Mandela’s health.

The remembrance wall at one of the entrances of the hospital has been visited by throngs of well-wishers this morning, including church choirs and the SA Salvation Army.

The ANC Youth League is expected to hold prayer meetings at the hospital at 3pm and another at Vilakazi Street, Soweto, where Mandela shared his house with then wife Winnie, at 5pm.

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