Mandela is getting stronger - grandson

2013-07-22 11:33
Mandla Mandela (Picture: Sapa)

Mandla Mandela (Picture: Sapa)

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Pretoria - Former president Nelson Mandela is getting stronger, his grandson Mandla Mandela said on Monday after a weekend visit.

"The visit left me with a warm feeling, because my grandfather is getting stronger and stronger every day," he said.

The improvement "is particularly heartening, because it flies in the face of those who have been busy spreading lies that Madiba is in a 'vegetative state' and just waiting for his [life] support machines to be switched off.

"Madiba has defied these hurtful statements and continues to prove his fighting spirit that has defined him over the many years of his life," Mandela said in a statement released on his grandfather's 44th day in hospital.

Mandela was admitted to the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital, in Pretoria, on 8 June with a recurring lung infection.

Security at the hospital remained tight on Monday, with police stationed at both of its entrances. All cars entering the hospital were being searched.

Steady stream of support

It was otherwise quiet outside the hospital, except for a small number of people who made their way there throughout the morning to take pictures of the perimeter wall, which was covered with tributes.

Mandela, who celebrated his 95th birthday in hospital last week, was visited by his grandson Mandla Mandela and daughter Zenani Mandela on Sunday.

He has received a steady stream of support from visitors, who leave flowers, cards and candles at the
entrance to the hospital, and at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg.

The presidency, which provides updates from time to time, also said he is steadily improving.

Mandla Mandela said he attended a prayer service arranged by the AbaThembu in Kwa-Zulu Natal at the Ethekwini Community Church on Sunday.

He said he was grateful for the overwhelming messages of support from South Africans and around the world.

"We continue to be grateful to the South African government, the African National Congress... and the doctors in charge of Madiba's health during this period."

He and some of Nelson Mandela's descendants are in a court dispute over the reburial of the remains of some of the anti-apartheid icon's children and grandchildren.
Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  mandla mandela

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