Zuma arrives at Madiba’s home

2011-05-17 13:03

President Jacob Zuma arrived at the home of former president Nelson Mandela this afternoon.

The gates were opened for Zuma, in a convoy of black cars with blue lights, but quickly closed behind him.

Police and security guards remained in their vehicles outside.

The street outside the Mandela home was lined with journalists and camera crew a half-hour before Zuma arrived.

Mandela retired from politics in 1999 and from public life in 2004, but continued to play a key role in South African politics.

His name was used to invoke deep emotions and patriotism by everyone from ANC members to opposition leaders.

Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille told would-be voters in Khayelitsha on Saturday that the DA was the only party capable of keeping Mandela’s legacy alive.

“We are working hard to build Madiba’s vision,” she said.

Mandela cast a special vote at his Houghton home yesterday.

“The first president of the free and democratic South Africa has led by example. We must now learn from him as we always do and go out in our millions to vote,” Zuma said afterwards.

Last month, ANC Youth League president Julius Malema used Mandela’s name in a speech urging his supporters to vote for the ANC.

“President Mandela is sick and you don’t want to contribute to a worsening condition of Mandela by not voting ANC.

“President Mandela will never endure it if the ANC is out of power,” he said.

Mandela (92) was discharged from hospital in February after being treated for a respiratory infection.

He was moved to his home in Houghton where he was under 24-hour supervision by a medical team.

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