Graça Machel keeping bedside vigil

2013-07-07 10:10

Johannesburg - Graça Machel, the wife of former president Nelson Mandela, has provided emotional stability during her husband's lengthy hospital stay, the City Press reported on Sunday.

"Madiba always wants reassurance that she is close by. She provides emotional stability not only to him but also to many of us," Mandela's personal assistant Zelda la Grange told the newspaper.

The City Press reported that since his admittance to Pretoria's Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital, Machel has not left Mandela's side for more than three hours before returning to him.

She apparently sleeps in a chair next to his bed and has clothes and other items brought in for her each week.

Sunday marks the 30th day Mandela has been in hospital receiving treatment for a recurring lung infection.

The Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory's Verne Harris told the newspaper that Machel had requested that some of the tributes left for Mandela at the hospital be collected and brought back to the centre.

"Those that had addresses on she asked us to please respond to, sending thanks. She was worried they would become weathered."

The 15th wedding anniversary of Machel and Mandela is celebrated this month.

Lone beacon of dignity

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times reported that Machel is seen as a lone beacon of dignity as the Mandela family continue to battle it out in court and in the media for the right to control the ailing statesman’s name, legacy and final resting place.

Even Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has commented, saying Machel was “a strong woman of enormous stature. But graciousness is the first word that comes to mind when one thinks of her: gracious wife, gracious feminist, gracious human being. Gracious, but not to be trifled with or under-estimated”.

She did not even leave Mandela's bedside to meet US President Barack Obama last week.

But as the Mandela family row continued to rage, Machel made a rare public appearance and took to the podium briefly at the launch of a sporting event for the Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory. It was here that she tried to put the public’s fears to rest and assured people that “although Madiba sometimes may be uncomfortable, very few times he is in pain, but he is fine.”

  • Solly Nobel - 2013-07-07 10:21

    she is a real woman, she is in pain alone while mandela family r busy fighting for his money...poor woman.

      Nico Maponya - 2013-07-07 10:33

      like they care,its all about money here...after the funeral she must just pack her bags before Mandla and makaziwe chase her

      Patricia Dewet - 2013-07-07 15:05

      the only classy women.

  • Kaapse Grappies - 2013-07-07 10:24


      Shades - 2013-07-07 11:22

      Because she's probably the scoundrel behind it all I mean, who would know better.....she brought them so it's a chip off the block - like mother, like disgusting, despicable children!!!

  • gratton.rush - 2013-07-07 10:25

    That is why he was attracted to this lovely lady the qualities he recognised in himself. What a couple of only They had an opportunity to pull this country right. Not like certain People spending more time trying to exploit the situation on burial rights tv rights for the funeral. If the electorate cannot see how they too are being exploited then heaven help this country

  • Keighley-Ann Bell - 2013-07-07 10:28

    Thank god someone close to Madiba remains sensitive and humane in light of these last few weeks! The Mandela family should be ashamed of themselves what with grave, money and CNN debacles playing out each day! What happened to appreciating the last few moments of your father's life and spending precious time with them! What disgusting people, they definitely did not fall close to the tree!

      Louis Van Den Elst - 2013-07-07 11:20

      Well said she I true to Mandela and not like the rest of the family.

  • Nico Maponya - 2013-07-07 10:31

    I bet Makaziwe and Mandla will chase her back to Mozambique right after the funeral.

  • Jonty Brown - 2013-07-07 10:33

    The Mandela clan can certainly take a leaf from her book! Imagine if she were President of this country, WOW, what a woman!

  • Elliot Menziwa - 2013-07-07 10:34

    She cares a lot its obvious. We black south africans are very angry we grew up in a war zone areas called township. Keep up the good work mrs Machel.

  • Paul Mzwandile Bafana Nkunzi - 2013-07-07 10:53

    We Salute Mama Machel,May the good God be with you in this trying times!

  • Village Boy - 2013-07-07 10:59

    Wat a woman!!!!! Unlike the "ex"...

  • Naphtali Khutso - 2013-07-07 11:02

    What a great woman she has been.

  • Khosi Mtshali - 2013-07-07 11:09

    Graca this family doesnt appreciate Wht u're doing they want Mandela dead

  • Kathy Burger Hellyar - 2013-07-07 11:13

    Hope that he has named her as his sole beneficiary and that she inherits his entire fortune.

  • Bryan Culross - 2013-07-07 11:14

    Classy, classy woman!

  • proudlysa - 2013-07-07 11:22

    After all is said and done Graca must join the DA or Agang...I am sure Madiba will approve of this as the ANC has become something he did not fight for...greedy, corrupt and morally bankrupt

  • Flynn Govender - 2013-07-07 11:39

    She have to show face because the media will crucify her. Let Mandela go in peace

      Bibi Shakwane - 2013-07-07 12:31

      Flynn your comment is not in very good taste

  • Christa Dominick - 2013-07-07 11:41

    Lone beacon of dignity amongst the rest of the clan who drag the honoured name of MANDELA through the dirt. You are an example to everybody in the country. God bless you !

  • Livvi Krige - 2013-07-07 11:44

    Graca is the epitome of graciousness. Fine, fine lady who, as Mr Mandela's spouse should put the rest of the family in their place. Despicable money hungry bunch that they are.

  • Fezile Russ - 2013-07-07 12:09


  • Christian Parah Saint PM - 2013-07-07 12:09

    Thank you Graca may God richly bless you for your heart

  • Colleen Alice Marais - 2013-07-07 12:22

    Graca you are such a gracious lady someone to be proud of. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Emmanuel Wielson Chauke - 2013-07-07 12:29

    this is an amazing lady indeed. south Africa, there are more where that lady come from. she is also like the biblical Esther after successfully advocating for her people to be furnished with legal document to stop the harassment that they were facing at the hands of the police on a daily basis.i was also surprised to learn that she is very fluent in English, had never heard her speaking to the nation. thank you for being there for your man GRACE.

  • Bibi Shakwane - 2013-07-07 12:34

    A woman of substance!

  • Kobus Hattingh - 2013-07-07 12:38

    She is the ONLY one is this family that still commands respect. The rest are sick vultures of the ugliest kind.

  • Sonia Kirkpatrick - 2013-07-07 12:51

    Maybe Graca should stand for election as president ,she has qualities,stature, honesty and dignity that our current Government does not have and I may add the rest of the Mandela family too. Many a lesson can be learnt from this awsome lady.I would certaily vote for her,

  • Nditsheni Singo - 2013-07-07 12:58

    Keep thee madam. He is yours. Try to stop those with bad wishes about him. they pretend to love him but they are buzzy preparing and arranging for his funeral.

  • Winifred Watson - 2013-07-07 13:08

    What a gracious and dedicated lady. To sit by her husbands side and watch while his family act like a bunch of hyena's waiting for the kill must be very hard for her to bear. I am sorry, I believe madiba will go to his grave a very very disappointed man. I don't think he ever envisaged that his children etc would stoop so low. Sorry to say, I have lost all respect of Madiba's family, money often brings with it a curse. To graca, you are a wonderful and gracious lady, and I am sure Nelson will always look down on your devotion to him.

  • Faiz Dolley - 2013-07-07 13:43

    I think u dont have news in the newsroom.

  • Godfrey Beje - 2013-07-07 14:03

    Admire you mama Nosizwe. Please ask Tata to change his will, leave all his money to charity without children and ex-wife knowing. They must get a hugd surprise of their lives on the last day.

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