Defence minister visits Mandela

2013-06-24 13:41
Nelson Mandela (Supplied)

Nelson Mandela (Supplied)

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Zuma updates on Mandela's condition

2013-06-24 11:34

Nelson Mandela's condition in a Pretoria hospital remained critical for a second straight day, President Jacob Zuma confirmed at a media briefing in Johannesburg.WATCH

Pretoria - Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula visited former president Nelson Mandela at the Pretoria hospital where he remains in a critical condition.

Mapisa-Nqakula stayed for 40 minutes at the hospital.

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa was also seen arriving, in a BMW X5.

Mandela's daughter Zenani was earlier spotted arriving in a black Mercedes Benz that pulled up shortly before 10:30 at the Park Street entrance of the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital, where police officers were manning the gates.

After a brief stop, the officers let her car through without a thorough search.

The officers searched all vehicles entering the hospital premises, with more officers inside the facility.

Some passing cars slowed down so that passengers could take pictures of the large media contingent stationed outside the facility.

Earlier in the day, the number of journalists outside the hospital increased significantly, and more reporters arrived as the day progressed.

Their vehicles, including broadcast vans, took up almost all the parking spots adjoining the hospital.

The hospital's other entrance, along Celliers Street, was also guarded by police searching all vehicles, including delivery vans.

Well-wishes adorned the hospital's security wall, with get-well cards, balloons, flowers and paintings.

On Sunday evening, presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement: "The condition of former president Nelson Mandela, who is still in hospital in Pretoria, has become critical."

It was issued after a visit by President Jacob Zuma and African National Congress deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Zuma and Ramaphosa also met Mandela's wife Graça Machel to discuss his condition.

"The doctors are doing everything possible to get his condition to improve and are ensuring that Madiba is well-looked after and is comfortable. He is in good hands," Zuma said in the statement.

Mandela, 94, was admitted to hospital on June 8 for treatment of a recurring lung infection.

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