Nelson Mandela: Doves released at Pretoria hospital

2013-06-25 12:53

White doves were released at the Pretoria hospital where former president Nelson Mandela remained in a critical condition.

Businessman Calvern Hugo today released about 60 birds near the Celliers Street entrance, in recognition of Mandela’s contribution to the country’s freedom.

“It was a few minutes of sacrifice that we took out of our busy schedules to say thank you for the sacrifices he (made) for the nation as a whole,” Hugo said.

“We are really appreciative of what you have done for us as a nation. What you have done will echo throughout the generations to come.”

Journalists, members of the public, and hospital staff came to look as Hugo released the birds.

The gesture took place near the wall that has been adorned with pink and red flowers, balloons, and many handmade get-well cards.

Meanwhile, some Mandela family members arrived at the hospital. Just before 10.30am, a black Jeep was let into the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital’s Park Street entrance without being searched.

Cars with military registration plates and those carrying Mandela family members, politicians, and government officials were the only vehicles allowed onto the premises without first being searched.

The hospital’s security guards and police officers were at the main entrances.

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