Scandal-weary South Africans look to Mandela

2012-12-09 23:04

Johannesburg - South Africans must accept that a man of Nelson Mandela’s age has bouts of illness say medical experts.

A specialist physician and critical care specialist in Johannesburg, Charles Muzamhindo, told the Mail & Guardian that at his age, Mandela being admitted to hospital carries a "certain level of risk".

"The risk of an elderly person contracting an opportunistic infection in hospital is of course greater than that of other age groups," Muzamhindo said.

 “I’m not sure we should press the panic button every single time a man of his age has the sniffles,” Mark Sonderup, vice-chairperson at the SA Medical Association also told the M&G.

"But unfortunately, we have to accept that simple health matters for a person of that age can turn very serious, very quickly."

Mandela ‘comfortable and in good care’

The office of President Jacob Zuma said Mandela’s admittance to a Pretoria hospital for medical tests and care was "consistent for his age".

Zuma visited Mandela on Sunday morning at the hospital and found the former leader to be "comfortable and in good care," presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

Maharaj offered no other details about Mandela, nor what medical tests he had undergone since entering the hospital.

Worshippers at a Catholic church in Johannesburg prayed for the former’s statesman’s recovery.

"When you have someone that's willing to lead by example like he did, it makes things easier for people to follow," said Thabile Manana, who worshipped on Sunday at Soweto's Regina Mundi Catholic church.

"Lately, the examples [in the ANC] are not so nice. It's hard. I'm scared for the country."

Beacon of hope

In February, Mandela spent a night in a hospital for a minor diagnostic surgery to determine the cause of an abdominal complaint. In January 2011, Mandela was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for what officials initially described as tests but what turned out to be an acute respiratory infection.

Mandela has had other health problems in the past. He contracted tuberculosis during his years in prison and had surgery for an enlarged prostate gland in 1985. In 2001, Mandela underwent seven weeks of radiation therapy for prostate cancer, ultimately beating back the disease.

Many South Africans continue to look to Mandela for hope as scandals and corruption allegations plague the ANC.

"It's becoming corrupt every day ... and it's growing worse," said Sidney Matlana, a worshipper at Regina Mundi. "Things are getting worse than it was before."

Others praying on Sunday at Regina Mundi stressed the need for South Africa's politicians to follow Mandela's example.

‘Someone must come and take his place’

It was at this church that anti-apartheid crusaders gathered to plan, pray and to mourn their dead, a church Mandela himself once called a "battlefield between forces of democracy and those who did not hesitate to violate a place of religion with teargas, dogs and guns".

Mandela's own stained glass image stands just right of another portraying a man carrying the corpse of 13-year-old Hector Pieterson, who was gunned down by police in Soweto in the 1976 students’ protest.

Worshippers acknowledged on Sunday they didn't know which politician would be able to live up to Mandela's legacy.

"Every person has got his time," churchgoer Lerato Mhlala said. "Someone must come in and take his place as well."

  • sharon.erwin.96 - 2012-12-09 23:17

    Nelson's ANC has been hijacked by a bunch of greedy selfish ignorant imbeciles who have no qualms about taking money from the poor to enrich themselves. Nelson's dream has turned into a nightmare, and there is no one who can restore it.

      geronimo.feather - 2012-12-10 00:18

      msizi.luthuli.14 why don't you take a one way hike to the Congo, where your ancestors are from? There you will find it much more to your liking, they don't tolerate dissenting views and people who speak against the regime... you, my intolerant "friend", will fit in wonderfully there. Our South African rainbow nation democracy that Mandela dreamed of does not need people like you. Here we encourage debate and differing views in the name of a transparent democracy.

      bobo.jane.1 - 2012-12-10 01:06

      msizi: Go home racist..

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2012-12-10 03:22

      Msizi it is actually Emigrate to Australia, not Immigrate. You have to write an English professiancy test as well.

      cyril.mpanza.1 - 2012-12-10 04:44

      Please allow me to appologise for bra msizi. Sometimes the youngers say things without understanding.

      EricksonTL - 2012-12-10 06:47

      Children of the sea... Indeed. Some of our ancestors managed to build boats. If you want to sling insults, be prepared to get them right back.

      shaun.miekle - 2012-12-10 07:54

      He's still busy with the struggle

  • msizi.luthuli.14 - 2012-12-09 23:22

    im my area my granny got an RDP house and the rest of our community with electricity and running water for free during Zumas era. Our ANC local councillor organised GSM companies to put their communication towers in our area that is why im on News 24 , we now have a shopping center my neighbour is working there. we planning to request a community library for the benefit of our community Viva Jacob Zuma Viva Viva ANC Viva!!

      henry.jackson.9828 - 2012-12-10 00:03

      Well, us here in the western cape have all of that aleady :) VIVA DA VIVA!!!! VIVA HELEN VIVA!!! VIVA MANDELA VIVA!!! im suprised it took so long for that stuff to get to you guys over there. - ANC run province syndrome.

      nico.dejongh.90 - 2012-12-10 00:30

      RDP houses are paid from taxpayer's money, that same tax money Zuma took away from you. How many houses can be built with R200mil. Zuma commit himself to all people as president so he and the whole government are our slaves, yes he works for us the taxpayer, we the taxpayer pays his salary and the whole of the government and you blacks just can't understand the rules of law of a land... Sad indeed.

      dave.hardman - 2012-12-10 01:53

      Did Zuma keep you from going to gaol too?

      beverly.young3 - 2012-12-10 03:45

      So all it takes is a handout and you vote for them? As Jamba says, what about the rest of the country? "in my area" they closed down a charity orphanage, run by whites, for blacks, with money raised here. Reason? "we have to be in control of funded institutions" the beautiful Sunshine Home, closed down. All the children were sent back to the township, they are now homeless...

      Mazan Mnguni - 2012-12-10 06:27

      Thanx msizi for sharing some light to ignorant ppl. Viva Anc! ppl should also take a drive to Nkandla Zuma has built beautiful roads there. Viva JZ

      cedric.ramakuwela - 2012-12-10 06:45


      morne.demeillon - 2012-12-10 07:01

      Viva ZM, ANC Viva...i see you a proud supported of corruption!

      lee.brand.73 - 2012-12-10 07:59

      Well done to someone - JZ had nothing to do with it. The women he meets he marries...

      asdhasgd - 2012-12-10 08:04

      msizi that took 18 years to deliver?? xD what a joke

      EricksonTL - 2012-12-10 08:05

      And what happens when the free stuff runs out bro? This is the legacy of the ANC - ignorant people who want a handout. Cry the beloved country.

      jacques.d.plessis.75 - 2012-12-10 08:51

      So if I quit my job and live on grants then I sould get stuff for free as well? Now I should vote ANC, everything is for free.

  • michangel.justice - 2012-12-10 00:13

    time for God to complete His work, nothin that any man, doctor can do about that. He live a courageous life. Not even dr chris barnard could safe himself after saving so many people. People theres nothin to be afraid of ! The Lord is calling on his children, i hope theres a priest to offer him the last sacrament and that tata madiba has repent his sins and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into his live in order to gain eternal life with God, the only way is thru the Son of God, Jesus Christ Our Saviour to be victorious? My well wishes(condolences will follow) to his fam and the our people that walk with madiba.

  • michael.bushes.5 - 2012-12-10 00:39

    Seriously, Lots of people dislike this man, but why? What did he do wrong? If Malema, Zuma and Mbeki screwed the land up, is it Mandela's fault? Honestly, i dont hate him, nor do i like him, my feelings about him are plain neutral, i dont care if he lives or dies, but surely people out there hate him, and i would like them to enlighten me about it. Many love him to pieces, but im sick and tired of hearing their admiration of Mandela, and since all politicians have skeletons, can someone please list a few about Mandela, pretty please ? Ill get the ball rolling: he gave Zuma one million bucks, ok, lets hear the rest.

      daren.m.vanstaden - 2012-12-10 00:49

      he allowed the anc ifp war to carry on in the 90s

      daren.m.vanstaden - 2012-12-10 00:56

      he never said anything about the matabele massacre in zim or tried to stop it

      daren.m.vanstaden - 2012-12-10 01:00

      He showed no leadership during the IFP vs ANC war in the 90s

      daren.m.vanstaden - 2012-12-10 01:04

      Another thing did he ever speak out about South African farms taken in zim due to land invasion did he show support to South African farmer in zim

      daren.m.vanstaden - 2012-12-10 01:11

      A true leader would practice what he preaches and Mandela took all u guys for a ride because this is not the country which the whites were hopping for when they voted yes for democracy

      grant.montgomery.5074 - 2012-12-10 01:14

      Mandela was president at the time of the arms deals and rceived gifts from the arms companies. (when Zuma was going to be charged he did not claim to be innocent he justsaid that if he went down he would take some big names with him.)

      Bob - 2012-12-10 01:18

      Terrorism, etc.. I hate repeating myself.

      rocco.dewet.3 - 2012-12-10 02:59

      Michael there is no valid reason to dislike Mandela, unless one blames him for our transition to democracy in 1994. Democracy was inevitable, and denying humans democracy based on pigmentation is not exactly a lofty stance. The vast majority of people of this land, of this continent, and of this planet feel there are plenty of reasons to admire and love him. The Church Street bombing, in which 19 civilians died, is often hung around the neck of Mr. Mandela. The bombing actually targeted the SAAF HQ, and was authorized by Oliver Tambo, in reaction to a cross border raid by the SADF in which ANC member Ruth First and 42 civilians were killed in Maputo. If that makes Mandela a terrorist, then what does it make the Apartheid leaders that presided over a campaign to brutalize, torture and murder people to scare them into submission? Are you hanging the more than 20,000 civilian deaths around the necks of Malan, Strijdom, Vorster, Botha and De Klerk too? Are you calling all of them terrorists too? The information scandal happened under Vorster. Are you holding Vorster responsible for Connie Mulder's indiscretions, like you are blaming Mandela for Zuma's indiscretions? Most people recognize that Nelson Mandela is an extraordinary man, leading by example to forgive and reconciliate, when he could easily have chosen to be the Mugabe of South Africa. Wake up and smell the coffee, van Staden and Bob. Those who belittle Mandela just end up belittling themselves

      andre.kuhn.583 - 2012-12-10 08:39

      Peace Nobel Price?????????????

  • sam.samuelson.399 - 2012-12-10 00:43

    If South Africans were that "scandal-weary", they wouldn't keep on voting for Anarchy Nepotism Cronyism

      grant.montgomery.5074 - 2012-12-10 01:23

      There are an estimated 13 million south africans surviving on one type of grant or another. At elevtion time the ANC tell the people that any other party voted in will remove the grants. A large percentage of voters don't have access to internet and even if they could read would rather buy food than a newspaper so they are ignorant about what is going on in the ruling party.

      nic.nomicos.3 - 2012-12-10 07:37

      You hit the nail on the head Grant...a poor, uneducated hungry man will put his X next to a certain face in the ballot paper for a food hamper without thinking of the consequences of his actions...

  • ivan.wagenstroom1 - 2012-12-10 00:59

    we love u madiba go in peace

  • Bob - 2012-12-10 01:16

    Given that he is revered as an icon to many it would be interesting to hear his thoughts about the state of the country. If the criminals in power are going to pay attention to anyone, it's Mandela. Graca was on Third Degree recently but she always dodges what the actual problems are and just goes on a philosophical tangent; we need Mandela himself to deliver a scathing critique on the current ANC, even if it's just from his bedside.

      blip.noodlum - 2012-12-10 03:49

      At age 94 his mind is probably barely able to appreciate the taste of the food on his plate, let alone sensibly weigh up the political options of the country or the party he once led.

  • fort.horseman.7 - 2012-12-10 01:16

    As someone mentioned today that God sent 2 great men Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela to guide S Africa out of its ignorance and arrogance.Now if we too thick to get the mesg,then deal with the consequences!Enough good men have waisted enough blood,sweat and tears for this vain country.No more!

      fort.horseman.7 - 2012-12-10 09:30

      DelusionBuster as usual,pls dont worry,whenever u send greeting to Him, He recieves it.Never stop sending ur greetings:)

  • blip.noodlum - 2012-12-10 03:38

    He was in an isolation tent for 27 years securely quarantined from any wrongdoings such as any ordinary politicians out and about are bound to stumble into. Then, after one term, he retreated into splendid isolation and more recently into the complete reclusiveness of extreme old age. So he can't do anything wrong now. But nor can he be anything more than a caricature. He's had five years for being a real flesh-and-blood person, bookended on one end by 27 years of being a shadowy caricature in jail and now 14 years of being a retired recluse awaiting death.

  • robert.doyle.712 - 2012-12-10 04:07

    How desperate can one be

  • rdsmithca - 2012-12-10 05:14

    the tenor of these comments are a sad indictment of the country i used to call home. i went to jail in the 1970's because i believe what the anc stood for what was correct. sadly the "new" anc seem to believe in things like how much money is in it for me. however the one thing that Mangaung will be doing is reducing the number of provinces and as a result western, eastern, and northern capes will be consolidated and as a result the anc will take over running this new provine. as a result all those self satisfied, delusional. white colonists will find that africa has finally arrived in "their" homeland. wait for rondebosch common to be given to rdp housing. wait for all (repeat all) those ex model c government schools having to have a school body that reflects the racial make-up of the new consolidated province. and by the way forget emigration - those discounted rand notes of yours will get you nowhere - and no australia does not need any immigrants from south africa

      Charles Frederik Robberts - 2012-12-10 06:32

      So! you woke up and smelled the roses!

      frank.cornelissen.1 - 2012-12-10 07:26

      So, your a ANC supporter, a Mason and a chicken shyte runner. Suffice to say, with your credentials you are not permitted to rinse your dumb mouth on SA issues as you gave up that right when you made your dash. Apart from that, just being jailed for being an idiotic libtard doesn't give you any standing in SA as it is today. They probably gave you one klap to start talking and then had to give you two more to stop twittering like some demented mossie. Small wonder you had to pull a runner as your erstwhile comrades were looking for you for selling them out, Useless libtard fool!!

      frank.cornelissen.1 - 2012-12-10 08:05

      Oh, and if Aus let you in reeking of stupidity, it is a shoe-in for any normal white South African to get accepted as a matter of course. And just a little education......white South African with any plan to leave these shores have started investing in Forex and gold a long time ago so your snide remarks of "discounted rands" are just as idiotic as what you are! I despise these libtard bunny huggers even more than what I despise Zoomer and his clan! F@rking useless backbone-less slugs!

  • piero.mendace.5 - 2012-12-10 05:29

    Lungelo go back to sleep, better still stick your head back in the sand. Exile, you ram fire the hills with your talks garden your legs asking the work for handouts, this your ANC is very good at!. It is easy to talk when others find you, its not your doing, its offshore shoulders of others. Your ANC is useless as are their followers.

  • piero.mendace.5 - 2012-12-10 05:42

    Reducing the number of provinces, why, because the Anc will get the WC in no other way. You support a crippled, spineless party that only exists on handouts, you should be proud!. The DA is 100 times the party your racist Anc well ever be.

      gary.doyle.520 - 2012-12-10 06:18

      Don't lie zamani, you did f*ckall. De Klerk with the help of Mandela took this country into democracy. Unfortunately its gone for ball of crap now.

  • Charles Frederik Robberts - 2012-12-10 06:35

    S.O.S. over and over again. No new news!

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-12-10 06:52

    Remember Judge Quartus de Wet, the last United Party appointee to the Bench, who presided over Mandela's trial. In terms of the treason law of the time, de Wet could have imposed the death sentence which he was under strong White public pressure to do.

  • emmanuel.bucsboy - 2012-12-10 06:53

    God be with utata

  • justin.b.whittaker - 2012-12-10 06:53

    Lungelo pity u werent shot back in the good old days...wouldnt have these petty comments of yours today...moron

  • charmaine.mcdonald2 - 2012-12-10 07:01

    Truly a great man, Pray that he gets well. God's Richest Blessings.

  • mmvanzyl1 - 2012-12-10 07:04

    I wish Mr. Mandela a quick and speedy recovery, he is the father of our nation and we need him now more than ever. Our country is in turmoil due to decisions made by uneducated people and ignorance shown by our leaders. If only our leaders showed compassion towards their country and its people, and took an oath to serve the people of it.Instead it's not about their country at all, it's a term that's used loosely and lots of power, power that they could have been used to the people's advantage and to better our country. They certainly don't make presidents like they used to.

  • nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-12-10 07:20

    I am sure his loving wife is protecting him against what the ANC has become or he would have died of a broken hart. I realy wish everbody leave this old man allown and take him to his home do that he can die a happy and realy free man. At the moment he is kept a prisoner by people who is only thinking of themself. I remeber that the last time the family said that it was his wish to stay at his home. Rather pray that he does not suffer needlessly and that God will take him safly to his permanent home. We have no right toe pray for him to get better just becouse we think we nead him.

  • brian.cotter.585 - 2012-12-10 07:37

    Speedy recovery and I hope your illness was not due to your dismay with the current Zuma led ANC. You have met Zuma 3 times(your info on current ANC obviously one sided) and the Clintons twice and you were set to meet Kgalema M on the day you went into hospital. He must have been coming to see you for your advice in what to do and he is still lost with what direction to take. Give him a signal to fight for no corruption.

  • lee.brand.73 - 2012-12-10 07:51

    Wishing you a speedy recovery Mr. Mandela. We were lucky to have you as a president. Look at the rubbish we have now!

  • Dumisani Mpanza - 2012-12-10 07:58

    Get well soon Tata Madiba, we still want u to live long.

  • andre.barendse.7 - 2012-12-10 08:00

    Maybe its time for us to let go of Mandela and start taking responsibility for our own destiny. He showed the way, but he cannot carry the whole world on his shoulders, without us also taking part in shaping a just future. we ourselves must stand strong for good values, and give our elders the peace of mind that SA will be left in good hands.

  • Sheilan.Clarke - 2012-12-10 08:12

    What I wish Madiba to do, is to publicly discredit President JZ and the ANC. Or even better, write a letter discrediting them and leave it with his will and testament and have the lawyer or a family member read it publicly. That will freak the ANC out I believe because they'll take it as him speaking from the grave. If not, then they ARE indeed savages.

  • lindiwe.nyamane - 2012-12-10 08:28

    A great man indeed wishing u a speedy recovery,God's richest wishes must be with you Tata. We were so blessed to have you as our President,we still want you to live long....

  • andre.kuhn.583 - 2012-12-10 08:33

    I do not understand why Mandela is so quiet about SA's current political problems. He must be demend (Alzheimers) or he has become a prisoner of his own people again. Or is he not the man we all thought he is. We must not forget that corruption started with his term in office.

      mpi.makoko.9 - 2012-12-10 08:58

      Mandela is a democrat and has sense to allow the current leaders to lead. He knows that any statement by him will be twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools. He understands that colonialists still have a hold over the Southern African economy and the own the means of information dissemination. Our challenges are rooted more in skewed economic relations than aything else.

      andre.kuhn.583 - 2012-12-10 09:20

      @Mpi: I am not a colonialist. You are taking a lot of rubbish which I believe you are going to eat later.

  • maroba - 2012-12-10 09:23

    You know this current administration can't be trusted first they denied that the people who was involved in the aircraft accident was not Mandela's Medical team, the next moment we understand that Madiba is being admitted in Hospital, Maharaj repeated the same speech he last gave when Mandela was admitted to hospital!! I never thot that SA will come to the state it is in now!...... Zuma and Maharaj are a perfect match made in hell.

  • ernst.geyser - 2012-12-10 09:42

    We often ask why SA has become so corrupt and violent... When an entire country WORSHIPS a KNOWN TERRORIST... how can it be any different?

  • thabo.moela.547 - 2012-12-10 09:55

    How can this people say such bad things about our father, I think is time we bring Malema back and vote him the president of the republic... this is the time...

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