Steady stream of visitors to Mandela hospital

2013-06-24 22:09
Nelson Mandela's daughter Makaziwe embraces Public Service Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. (Ben Curtis, AP)

Nelson Mandela's daughter Makaziwe embraces Public Service Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. (Ben Curtis, AP)

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Cape Town - There has been a steady stream of relatives and senior politicians to the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, where a critically ill Nelson Mandela is being treated.

The former president was rushed to the hospital on 8 June with a recurring lung infection.

Ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and daughters Zindzi Mandela and Zenani Mandela were among those who flocked to the hospital on Monday.

Their visits, while common since Mandela was admitted 17 days ago, come amid heightened fears for his health, which was described by President Jacob Zuma as "critical".

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and UDM leader Bantu Holomisa had visited the elder statesman earlier in the day.  

Meanwhile, AFP reports that in Washington, the White House said on Monday it was keeping a close eye on developments in view of President Barack Obama’s visit to the country.

A spokesperson said he didn’t want to speculate about the impact of Mandela's health on the president's trip.

Obama is due to travel to Senegal on Wednesday and spend the weekend in South Africa before journeying on to Tanzania, on a keenly awaited first big Africa tour of his presidency.

But there has been speculation that if Mandela, 94, passes away in the next few days, the entire trip would be either cancelled or substantially reworked.

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