Tito Mboweni, flowers and doves for Madiba

2013-06-25 15:08

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The Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital has been a hive of activity today as well-wishers and visitors have been streaming in to wish former president Nelson Mandela a speedy recovery.

Mandela’s condition remains unchanged, the presidency said this afternoon. This follows the announcement on Sunday night that Mandela’s condition was critical.

A group of businessman from Pretoria today released 100 white doves to symbolise the freedom that Mandela has stood for since joining the ANC-led struggle for freedom.

The group released the doves in front of the hospital entrance as well-wishers grew in numbers today.

Among the visitors was former Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni, whom Mandela appointed as democratic South Africa’s first Labour Minister in 1994.

Mboweni was seen driving out of the hospital in a black Jaguar.

When City Press approached him for comment, he politely declined.

His visit followed those of Public Service Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

Sisulu was among those who had travelled to Qunu in the Eastern Cape today for a meeting, reportedly called by Mandela’s daughter Makaziwe.

Speculation has been rife that the Mandela family was considering making Sisulu an official spokesperson for the family while Mandela is in hospital.

But Sisulu’s alleged role has not been confirmed and City Press could not verify it.

At the hospital, about 30 trainees from the Tshwane SAPS Academy in Pretoria descended from a bus this afternoon, carrying lilies and proteas to lay at the entrance of the hospital.

The police trainees all wore their blue training track suits and walked in a line to lay the flowers as their bosses looked on.

Head of the Tshwane SAPS Academy, Brigadier Noma Binqela, who led the trainees, said they wanted to honour Madiba.

“We decided to show sympathy like the entire country is doing and show the pain that the country is going through,” said Binqela.

Binqela said it was important to inculcate Mandela’s values and principles in the trainee officers.

“These flowers are also a symbol from us that we are also praying for our Tata to get well soon,” said Binqela.

Calvern Hugo, who spoke for the businessmen who released the doves, said Mandela was a symbol for freedom.

“The release of the white doves symbolises for us, as individuals, what Mandela has stood for. We echo the sentiments of the nation and the rest of South Africa in saying that we’re taking some time from our busy schedule in recognition of what Mr Mandela has done.”

Earlier in the day Mandela’s granddaughter Swati Dlamini, her sister Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway, and husband David Manaway arrived for their daily visit.

Mandela’s ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, arrived with her daughter Zindzi to be by the ailing statesman’s side.

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