Mandela has played his role - minister

2013-07-04 17:20
(Filippo Monteforte, AFP)

(Filippo Monteforte, AFP)

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Pretoria - Former president Nelson Mandela has played his role, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini said outside a Pretoria hospital on Thursday.

"Madiba has played his role," she told people gathered at the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital to pray for the ailing Mandela.

"Madiba we are with you and we are going to travel this journey with you because we strongly believe in you."

Dlamini urged the crowd to talk about Mandela to "revive the spirit of the ANC".

On Thursday morning, members of the ANC Women's League, traditional leaders, and the SA Council of Churches gathered at the hospital to pray for Mandela, who is in a critical but stable condition.

Before 10:00 Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko arrived, flanked by two metro police officers.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane also joined the group, who were singing in the street.

"We are here to come and contribute in the healing of the nation - in the healing of those who are at pains to appreciate what the country is going through," Mokonyane said.

"But most importantly to also pray for the hands that are taking care of our father... We are actually asking God to grant us the strength to celebrate his love - to celebrate the father of the nation."

Mokonyane said members of the ANC would treasure the organisation, look after it, and serve the people of the country.

"We promise you Madiba that we will uphold the values that founded this organisation."

She said Mandela was a child of God and a believer, and she would pray for his family.

"We ask Him also to come in and save the family and be among the family members."

Well-wishers

The group had posters with messages, some reading "We love you Tata", "Madiba family stay strong", and "Gauteng Women's League wishes Madiba well".

After Mokonyane and Dlamini spoke, members of the group said their prayers aloud.

Metro police blocked the traffic and closed down Celliers Street where the prayer meeting took place.

The women, dressed in green and black, sang struggle songs and hymns.

Police were stationed at both hospital entrances, searching vehicles before they entered.

People walking past the hospital entrance, where a wall has been turned into a shrine for Mandela, stopped to take pictures of the colourful display of cards, flowers, balloons, flags, pictures, and posters.

Mandela was admitted to the hospital on 8 June with a recurring lung infection.

Read more on:    anc  |  ancwl  |  faith mazibuko  |  nelson mandela  |  nomvula mokonyane  |  bathabile dlamini

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