Cops keep close eye on Mandela home

2013-06-26 06:59

Johannesburg - Former president Nelson Mandela's home in Houghton was quiet on Wednesday morning, with police cars occasionally patrolling the area as the former statesman remained in a critical condition in a Pretoria hospital.

Around 01:10 three cars and one van from the Johannesburg metro police came down 4th Street, and turned into the street where Mandela's house is located.

The van at the back of the patrol switched on its hazard lights, reversed and parked in the street in front of the gate before flashing its headlights.

About eight officers got out of the vehicles and had a discussion in front of the gate for 10 minutes before they all got back into the cars and drove off slowly.

Police presence in the neighbourhood and patrolling increased on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, compared to other nights.

Dark house

The presidency announced on Sunday that Mandela's health had deteriorated.

At 23:40 on Tuesday a police van pulled up outside the main black gates of the house.

Two officers walked up and down the road to ensure no cars were parked in the streets in front of and to the sides of the house. The other four officers went inside the gates and came out about half an hour later.

After midnight the officers all got back into the van and drove off.

Soon after this, another police car drove up and down the streets before leaving.

After 01:30 a Gauteng flying squad car drove past the house slowly before speeding away.

The house was dark with all curtains and blinds closed. Only the outside lights, in the yard and outside the house, were on.


Outside the main gates, people had put bouquets of flowers and more stones around one of the big trees. The stones were painted in the colours of the South African flag and had messages such as "Nelson Mandela we love you", "Get well soon Tata" and "We love you Madiba" written on them.

The flower beds around the yard were colourful with painted stones in each of them. One had small South African flags spread over the stones.

The stones bore messages including "God Bless Madiba", "Thanx [sic] father" and "I love you Madiba" painted on them.

They had been left by well-wishers in the days since Mandela was hospitalised on 8 June for treatment of a recurring lung infection. Police officers and security guards would take the cards and posters left by people inside.

Critical condition

A single broadcast vehicle was parked outside the house opposite the ailing statesman's house.

On Tuesday, the presidency confirmed that Mandela remained in a critical condition.

"[Mandela's] condition remains unchanged in hospital, and doctors continue to do their best to ensure his recovery, wellbeing, and comfort," spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

On Sunday night, Maharaj said in a statement that the anti-apartheid icon and Nobel peace prize laureate's condition had deteriorated and had become critical.

The presidency made the announcement after a visit by President Jacob Zuma and African National Congress deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.

On Wednesday morning, it was quiet outside the Nelson Mandela Foundation a few streets from the former statesman's house. Two cars were parked inside the premises.

  • Ruan Smit - 2013-06-26 07:15

    Those cops must have thought they are incredibly awesome.

      Andrew Selous - 2013-06-26 10:57

      Mandela keeps eyes closed.

  • Chreamz George - 2013-06-26 07:32

    Tight Security against what???. The old man has reached his Dark Ages and it will only be fair to let him RIP or Kick it. A newly born child might be a victim of crime as we speak, how ironic, those supposed to be protecting an innocent child are just wandering around an empty house belonging to a dying old man.

  • Ntombi Baloyi - 2013-06-26 07:37

    I don't think the police are where they are suppose to be

  • Alon Berman - 2013-06-26 07:46

    Quite clearly the police would need to be there... How would you feel with shady vultures keeping watch of your home 24/7 taking notes of every pee break your guards take!

  • Marius van der Sandt - 2013-06-26 07:53

    The long walk to freedom might become a short flight to Qunu soon.

      Sekie Ayavuya Rozani Fanyana - 2013-06-26 08:17

      What are you trying to say Marius, you are over the moon nhe?

      Pule Martins - 2013-06-26 08:24

      marius u r a stupid man

      Potlaki Rammaka Lekgathe - 2013-06-26 08:33

      And so wat ur also going 2 die sumday,

      master.kay.7355 - 2013-06-26 08:48

      You're a fool marios

      Rajah Favoured Fadzai - 2013-06-26 16:19

      Marius you must be ashamed of your comments as far as we concerned there is nothing funny about about this issue...i feel sorry for you.

  • Kortbroek Du Plessis - 2013-06-26 08:07

    Why are so much police resources wasted on this. He is not even home for Pete's sake! Don't they have criminals to catch??

  • Israel - 2013-06-26 08:32

    Unbelievable - to think that a journalist gets paid for the USELESS INFORMATION

  • Luke Korir - 2013-06-26 08:43

    'The house was dark with all curtains and blinds closed. Only the outside lights, in the yard and outside the house, were on.' Not good at all.

      Aqeelah Khan - 2013-06-26 09:49

      no pun intended right hahahaha okay sorry - this is a serious situation

  • Jenn Palmer - 2013-06-26 09:12

    Please guys, this is not the time to play the racist card...Madiba is the only politician I have respected...We should all learn from him and help continue his legacy...Revenge and anger rots the soul...

  • Ntombizodwa Letty - 2013-06-26 09:47

    Happy a these who stay next to Mandela they will sleep like babies for few weeks, bcos money can buy anything for the family but not Mandela this time. I wish utata to felt the situation n things that is happening when he cannt do anything. These cops shame they are just doing what they got from the snrs members n more overtime for their familys, I wonder Y other people cannt they accept things n make other people lifes easy. Please family of utata Mandela have heart to him assomblieffffffffffff tog long time this things going on, more people (drs,cop,security, community & nurses) are suffering for this situation. Impilo iyabiza especial yakatata.

  • Rajah Favoured Fadzai - 2013-06-26 16:13

    Viva Madiba!!!!! Long live Madiba!!!!

  • Asithandile Norman Bede Norman - 2013-06-26 19:40

    Who is to b blamed for tata mandela illness if it wasn't for the 27yrs behind bars he never would hv had this how's to blame? And one day we will take revenge

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