‘Tata must get out of that hospital like he got out of prison’

2013-06-26 17:07

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A group of 60 school children gathered at the gates of former president Nelson Mandela’s Qunu home in the Eastern Cape to wish the elderly statesman a speedy recovery.

They then said a short prayer.

The group, from the Nelson Mandela Leadership Institute, consisted of pupils who are academically the strongest in the province, from Grade 9 to 11, with their ages ranging from 14 to 17 years old.

They come from seven regions of the province.

Standing next to the N2 highway, at the Mandela Qunu home, the pupils sang Madiba a song wishing him a speedy recovery and a prosperous life.

Lonwabo Sipuye (17) said he had come to support Madiba and hoped that the elderly statesman pulls through.

“I am here to support Tata and want to say to him, he must get out of that hospital like he got out of prison because his country still needs him,” he said.

Luphumlo Hoza (16) from Port Elizabeth said: “We love Madiba, we wouldn’t be here as a country had it not been for him. We wish him well and we love him so much.”

Mandela family relative Siyakudumisa Mandela accepted an artwork the pupils had made, especially for Madiba, on behalf of the family.

“I am going to give it to the family. I have already told them about your visit here but because of family business the senior members of the family are not here to receive the gift themselves,” he said.

The words “ailing soldier, commander, prisoner and negotiator, and first black president,” were written on the artwork.

Nokuzola Thethani, marketing manager at the Nelson Mandela Museum, who accompanied the pupils, said she wished Mandela could recover and go back to Qunu.

Thethani, who lives in Qunu, across the road from Mandela’s house, spoke of how the elderly statesman used to enjoy watching the sunset from his balcony.

“Life is not the same without him. We use to greet him as we pass his house because he would be sitting there on his balcony enjoying the sun,” Thethani said.

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