More relatives visit Mandelas' gravesite

2013-06-25 14:39
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Mandela makes headlines

Ailing former president Nelson Mandela is consistently making international headlines as people around the world show concern about his health. See some of those headlines here.

Qunu - More relatives have visited a gravesite in Qunu where all deceased members of the Mandela family are buried, the Mail & Guardian reported on Tuesday.

The Mail & Guardian reported that while it was unclear what the Mandela delegation was doing at the site, it is common in Xhosa custom for a family to visit a gravesite when they sense that a member might soon join the ancestors, or to speak to the ancestors to spare them for a while longer.

City Press tweeted that one of the family members, believed to be Makaziwe Mandela, covered her face with a red blanket as she left the Qunu house.

One of his granddaughters, Ndileka, told AFP on Tuesday that Mandela's condition was "stable".

Earlier, Sapa reported that Mandela relatives were locked in a meeting at the home in Qunu.

The meeting followed an urgent call reportedly made by Mandela's children, a Sapa correspondent reported.

Among those who arrived at the homestead were Mandla Mandela, Thanduxolo Mandela, Ndaba Mandela and Ndileka Mandela.

Also there was chief Bhovulengwe, of the Abathembu royal council.

He said it was being called to discuss delicate matters pertaining to the anti-apartheid icon.

Napilisi Mandela usually presides over the family's meetings and rituals.

Television news cameras and journalists camped outside the house on the opposite side of the N2 highway as the meeting took place.

Locals, who have grown used to the sight of television news crews since Mandela was admitted to hospital over two weeks ago, carried on with their daily activities as photographers and videographers lined the highway to get pictures and footage.

An employee at Mthatha's tourism office said "most" bed and breakfast establishments and hotels in the town were "booked out".

Meanwhile, white doves were released at the Pretoria hospital where the former president remained in a critical condition on Tuesday.

Businessman Calvern Hugo released about 60 birds near the Celliers Street entrance, in recognition of Mandela's contribution to the country's freedom.

"It was a few minutes of sacrifice that we took out of our busy schedules to say thank you for the sacrifices he took for the nation as a whole," Hugo said.
Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  east london

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