Some 'relief' on Mandela's condition

2013-06-27 18:24

Johannesburg – As millions keep a watchful eye on former president Nelson Mandela, as he receives treatment at the Medic-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, his latest medical report has brought some relief.

The presidency announced on Thursday that the ailing icon’s health had improved, but remains critical yet stable.

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said the latest update had brought “a little bit of relief”.

"We know that Madiba is a fighter, he's been a fighter all his life and he's tough," Maharaj said.

President Jacob Zuma's office said he received the update from the medical team that is treating Mandela.

The hint of good news, whether fleeting or not, delighted many, including those who have delivered flowers and messages of support to the Pretoria hospital.

Some felt the national and global outpouring of support for Mandela had helped him, in a kind of reversal of roles with the man who helped his compatriots in the struggle for democracy.

"We are very grateful as South Africans for the promises that we are getting that he is stabilizing right now," said Andy Lembeki, a well-wisher.

One of the former president's daughters said he was still opening his eyes and reacting to the touch of his family even though his situation was precarious.

The report that Mandela’s health had taken a slight turn for the better came amid an increasingly sombre mood.

Zuma cancels trip

Zuma had cancelled an international trip on Thursday in a sign of heightened worry, instead visiting Mandela for the second time in two days.

"I cancelled my visit to Mozambique today so that I can see him and confer with the doctors," Zuma said in the statement.

"He is much better today than he was when I saw him last night."

In April, though, Zuma gave an overly upbeat assessment about Mandela's condition.

The SABC showed footage of a visit by Zuma and other ANC leaders to Mandela's home. Zuma said at the time that Mandela was in good shape, but the footage showed him silent and unresponsive, even when Zuma tried to hold his hand.

Zuma urged people to pray for Mandela, and continue with their work and daily activities even while he is hospitalised.


The president's office said it was disturbed by what it called rumours about Mandela's health and appealed for respect for the privacy and dignity of the former leader.

Unconfirmed reports about Mandela have swirled on social media and other forums.

Makaziwe Mandela, one of Mandela's daughters, echoed the criticism, saying foreign media coverage of her father's illness had become intrusive, particularly at the Pretoria hospital where many journalists have gathered.

"There's sort of a racist element with many of the foreign media, where they just cross boundaries," she said in the SABC interview.

 "It's like truly vultures waiting when a lion has devoured a buffalo, waiting there for the last carcasses. That's the image that we have, as a family."

She said: "We don't mind the interest. But I just think it has gone overboard."

In comments posted on the SABC website, Makaziwe Mandela said "anything is imminent" because her father, referred to affectionately by many South Africans as "Tata," or "Father," is in a very critical state.

"I want to emphasise again that it's only God who knows when the time to go is," she said. "So we will wait with Tata. He's still giving us hope by opening his eyes, he's still reactive to touch, we will live with that hope until the final end comes."

Obama in Africa

Beginning a trip to Africa, President Obama said in Senegal on Thursday that his thoughts and prayers were with South Africans and in particular the Mandela family. He said he was inspired, as a law school student in the early 1990s, to see Mandela step forward after decades of imprisonment to help deliver democracy in a spirit of reconciliation with his former captors.

"It gave me a sense of what is possible in the world when righteous people, when people of good will, work together on behalf of a larger cause," said Obama, who described Mandela as a personal hero.

"And if and when he passes from this place, one thing I think we'll all know is that his legacy is one that will linger on throughout the ages," Obama said.

In Jerusalem, the visiting archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said Mandela has been in his thoughts and prayers.

"We're praying constantly for president Mandela, especially for his family, for the people of South Africa and for peace in their hearts and minds of what must be a very traumatic time for them," he said at an interfaith meeting.

Mandela's 95th birthday is on 18 July, an occasion ahead of which South African organisers and others around the world are planning humanitarian acts to honour the legacy of the former president.

Samson Divhula, a statistician in Pretoria, said he hoped Mandela would live at least until his day.

"If God takes him before he reaches his 95th birthday, so be it," he said. "We'll accept it and wish Mandela well and still celebrate his 95th birthday."

  • Boitumelo Tauetsile - 2013-06-27 18:32

    Tata, is going to spend 27 days in Hospitaal, and thereafter he will be healed and discharged He is a fighter I concur.

      Gerhard Mostert - 2013-06-27 18:39

      jou ou visioener

      Jurgen Rombouts - 2013-06-27 19:12

      Gosh you are an idiot, your comment is idiotic and second of all you fail to spell "Hospital" correctly, Stupid man / woman, whatever you are !

      Scouter Four-One - 2013-06-27 19:19

      As a practising Christian, I have held my tongue long enough now on this whole sad episode. 1) Nelson Mandela is clearly at death's door(if not through it already) - nothing is going to alter that. 2) It is right and proper that believers should offer up their prayers at such a time. Not so much for healing but rather as a celebration of an extraordinary person we have all been privileged to be associated with in one way or the other and across all racial divide. 3)The obvious political charade that is being stage managed is sickening to the core. Irrespective of one's belief system, I wouldn't want to be the one standing before my maker having partaken in such a disgusting display of self-interest at the expense of such a noble example of humanity and compassion, as Nelson Mandela. Shame on you all.

      Boom Boom Afridi - 2013-06-27 20:03

      where there's life, there's hope :) we love you madiba.

      Lindah Mthanti - 2013-06-27 21:23

      thank u Boitumelo u not an idiot spelling gramma, some want him dead LONG LIVE TATA.

  • Riaan Mostert - 2013-06-27 18:35

    Eish. 'There is some sort of racist element'. How do you come to this conclusion Einstein? Talk about empty vessels that make the most noise.

      Riaan Mostert - 2013-06-27 18:43

      Gosh. I just watched a snippet of this interwiew and it's same old same old. An 'african' biatch with a chip on her shoulder. Past pathetic

      Squeegee Pilot - 2013-06-27 19:25

      Let's interpret this article into truthspeak: "Mr Mandela is being kept alive by a machine. This is convenient for the government with Obama's visit about to happen. By saying he is getting better the population will expect a few more days - after which the machine will be switched off at the convenience of the ANC." The rest is blabber... RIP madiba.. you don't deserve this family or the politicians who should have learnt from you...

  • DumAss Blackie - 2013-06-27 18:39

    Hope the Mandela Clan are happy with the clown show the ANC has turned this into - with their election campaign truck and flyers at the hospital... I'm sure Nelson will love to see what you clowns are turning his last few hours into.... How much exactly has the ANC offered you to keep the charade going..????

      Tozama Potelwa - 2013-06-28 01:18

      You still bitter ?reserve tour comments for now !!

  • charl.e.visser.1 - 2013-06-27 18:42

    are you for real?

  • Joe Smith - 2013-06-27 18:44

    Praise be to the merciful Allah.

  • Kaapse Grappies - 2013-06-27 18:47


      Mdluli Vusi - 2013-06-27 18:59

      Sorry she's busy with the bucket toilets portable flush toilets saga.

      Mlungisi Mwelase - 2013-06-27 20:42


  • Gillroy Erasmus - 2013-06-27 18:49

    Tata madiba. Gods time is not our time. We pray that our almighty take control.

  • Riaan Mostert - 2013-06-27 18:49

    Eish. 'There is some sort of racist element'. How do you come to this conclusion Einstein? Talk about empty vessels that make the most noise.

  • Ezrom Tinyiko Ntimane - 2013-06-27 18:54

    I personally think that it will be a great idea to leave Mr Nelson Mandela alone the old man need a break ...I m a bit perturbed by so much publicity and turn our focus on certain domestic issues.....enough is enough.

  • Mariette Nicholson - 2013-06-27 18:54

    I'm burning a candle for you, dearest Madiba....sending you Love and Light....and wishing you Peace!.....

      renelaunspach.enomoto - 2013-06-28 01:19


  • Peace Sol - 2013-06-27 18:54

    By the look of things Madiba is on the mend,and we should expect him to be well and discharged soon,only God knows when his time will be over on earth!

  • Machiavelli Moore - 2013-06-27 19:01

    Mac looks like a sleazy salesman selling shiny broken toys to kids. JZ looks like... Well I'll leave that to your imagination.

  • Sige Gorabeb - 2013-06-27 19:06

    With all due respect, Obamas visit makes things a little slippery on reports we get from the presidency on our beloved Tata. Hope the good news on Tatas health will continue after Obama leaves and not the contrary.

  • Jerry Springer - 2013-06-27 19:16

    Madiba hundred years, as long as Zuma was not there.

  • Jurgen Rombouts - 2013-06-27 19:17

    I wonder what they mean with relief, he is on life support, but they state he is in stable condition, meaning the machines are keeping him alive, uhm what is so stable about that .?. But then again, anything that comes out of Zuma is idiotic and a child from 5 has more common sense !!!!

  • Yvonne Molefe - 2013-06-27 19:30

    I wish Tata to get well.We love him very much.

  • Bongo Bongo - 2013-06-27 19:36

    South Africans are being fed a load of BS as far as Mandela is concerned. It's very important for the ANC for Mandela NOT to die before Obama arrives. I also believe that the family will make an extra few million out of it. Sick. Sick. Sick.

  • Treasure Thabede - 2013-06-27 19:38

    and the family has already dug a hole in the graveyards for his burial! how convenient.

  • Samantha Johannes - 2013-06-27 19:39

    I have so much respect for Nelson Mandela and for what he stands for... And to see it shine through his daughter, Mak, so badly... So poorly.. Is a complete let down and embarressment! Sadly his family is not as well spoken, fair, and humble as the great man himself. My prayers are with you Nelson, God has used you well!!

  • Nomcebo Ngidi - 2013-06-27 19:48

    Thanks to the presidency for the unbaised and true progress report and to Makaziwe for presentation with Vuyo Mvoko at SABC 3 its was super speed recovery Dalibunga

  • Taryn Gildenhuys - 2013-06-27 19:49

    I don't want to sound mean or uncaring, but Madiba has lived his life, a very tough and challenging life with many beautiful and amazing moments in between, but the fact remains he is only human, not superman, although I'm sure most of us would like him to be, but he can't live forever, he needs to find comfort and peace! He is an amazing man, whose life was well lived, its time to let go!!

      Laura Joubert Hiebner - 2013-06-27 20:04

      Well said Taryn.

  • Mario Haddon - 2013-06-27 19:56

    Well said Taryn

  • Derek Bekker - 2013-06-27 20:25

    That hospital is making millions!!

      Jay Jay - 2013-06-27 20:40

      How much is the price of a life?

      Jerry Springer - 2013-06-27 21:54

      Not negotiable.

  • emmanuel.modika - 2013-06-27 20:28

    Report on the protest in the cape town where a road to the airport is closed and leave Mac Maharaj with his false updates alone or all of your reporters are in pretoria?

  • George Pito - 2013-06-27 20:28

    Love him hate him it does not matter. If anybody been through something like this with a parent at a fairly old age a factor kicks in called dignity. Forget about who he is just think of it as a human being wanting to rest and everybody keeps you awake.

  • Ferdinand Massyn - 2013-06-27 20:29

    South Africa's President Captain Fantastic Zupta is at it again. He is now trying to steal a great man's limelight to try and make out he is so caring of Nelson Mandela.But the public knows what you are trying to do President Zupta ,to get votes for next years election by bussing in ANC supporters. You are milking a great old man's maybe last days to suit yourself President Zupta.You are not fit enough to even polish Nelson Mandela's shoes ,but we can see you are using him to advance your own agenda. What a disgrace you are

  • Pieter Oosthuysen - 2013-06-27 20:56

    I am truly confused. Around 11h00 News24 reported that our beloved Madiba's family had been summoned to the hospital "urgently". Around 12h00 News24 report spokesman Mac as saying that Madiba's health has deteriorated significantly over the past 48 hours. At 14h00 Showerhead said that Madiba's health has improved overnight. WTF. Can somebody please stop lying. Make up your minds (if you have any). Sundown: The ANC shows the limit in disrespect. Under the guise of "showing support" for an old, beloved, admired MAN they turn the area outside the hospital grounds into a circus campaigning for votes! Is there no end to the duplicity and underhandedness of the rulers of this country? Does the word "Respect" even exist in their limited vocabulary?

  • Premi Reddy - 2013-06-27 21:01

    Winnie Mandela your husband is waiting for you to hold his hand and make right with God. Say goodbyes and release Madiba in Arms of Jesus.

      Tozama Potelwa - 2013-06-28 08:48

      She was devorced did she get married again??

  • Tim Norris - 2013-06-27 21:05

    Hate to say this, but critical means he is actually dead, and stable means his body is being kept going by machines until the family and ANC agree the best time to switch him off -presumably once they have all had enough media exposure! Sickening!

  • Michael McN - 2013-06-27 23:29

    Might I make a suggestion? Resolve today to do something extraordinary for others on July 18 in honor of Nelson Mandela. Don't call attention to yourself; don't make a fuss about it beforehand. Just do it and be happy you could. If enough people do this, who knows? The world may be a better place for all of us.

  • David Mowat - 2013-06-28 02:22

    Does anybody think that the Government is keeping Tata on life support until after the Obama visit, fearing that his passing may unstable any talks planned to take place. It will be quite odd when his condition suddenly deteriorates after Obama's departure, as I am sure it will. I hope the government is not prolonging any suffering he may be having, for their own gain!

      Tozama Potelwa - 2013-06-28 08:45

      It will very odd agree but we have to be sure what we talking about they cannot make Madiba s life a circus and drama .let's wait and see the truth will come out one day and they will regret if it is like that .

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