‘We should just accept that Mandela is old’

2013-06-08 13:46

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Former president Nelson Mandela’s condition remained unchanged, the presidency has said.

“His condition is the same as per statement we sent out earlier,” said spokesperson Mac Maharaj today.

Mandela (94) was admitted to a Pretoria hospital this morning after his condition deteriorated at about 1.30am.

Earlier, Maharaj said Mandela was in a “serious but stable” condition and was admitted due to a recurring lung infection.

“He remains in a serious but stable condition.”

He said doctors were doing everything they could to make Mandela “better and comfortable”.

President Jacob Zuma, on behalf of government and the nation, wished Mandela a speedy recovery.

He requested the media and the public to respect the privacy of Madiba and his family, Maharaj said.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron sent Mandela well wishes on Twitter.

“My thoughts are with Nelson Mandela, who is in hospital in South Africa,” Cameron wrote.

The elder statesman has been in and out of hospital several times over the past few months.

There was little activity outside the Mandela residence in Houghton, northern Joburg, today.

Three vehicles were parked outside the gate of the house but no one was seen coming in or out.

A group of journalists, armed with cameras parked around the corner of the house.

Media was also stationed outside a Pretoria hospital.

Photographers and journalists were monitoring cars entering and exiting the hospital.

There was no security apart from normal hospital guard stationed outside the building.

Residents from the small Eastern Cape village of Qunu were shocked after hearing that the former president was admitted to hospital.

Malunga Mbokodi (62) who lives 1km from Mandela’s Qunu home, said he was shocked when he heard the news on the radio.

“I was shocked to hear from the radio this morning that he was again in hospital,” Mbokodi said.

“But again we cannot trust the media because last time the media was reporting wrongly, saying Mandela was in hospital, while the government said he was not in that hospital, so who do you believe.

“I think, we should just accept it that Mandela is old and he will go soon.”

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