Zuma breaks into song for Mandela

2013-06-26 16:49
President Jacob Zuma (Picture: AFP)

President Jacob Zuma (Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma opened the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) conference on Wednesday with a rousing rendition of a song about former president Nelson Mandela, who is gravely ill.

Loosely translated from isiZulu, he sang: "We are walking a long distance, so said Nelson Mandela to his supporters."

Dipping his body into the song, as the red-clothed delegates harmonised and ululated, Zuma sang several refrains.

On Sunday, his office broke the news that Mandela was critically ill, after being in hospital with a recurring lung infection since 8 June.

When he finished the song, Zuma began his prepared speech.

Reuters reported that Zuma said Mandela's situation was unchanged.

"As he remains in a critical condition in hospital, we must keep him and the family in our thoughts and prayers every minute," he said.

He was addressing the conference in his capacity as ANC president.

Children sing

School children from around the Eastern Cape also sang and prayed for former president Nelson Mandela outside his home in Qunu on Wednesday afternoon.

The children, who are part of a programme run by the Nelson Mandela Leadership Institute, held a poster they had prepared for the 94-year-old former president.

Nokuzula Tatane, a spokesperson for the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu, said the children were worried about Mandela and had wanted to come to the house to wish him well.

Family gather

Members of Mandela's family met at the house on Tuesday.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa, who attended the meeting with the Mandela elders, Mandela's eldest daughter Makaziwe Mandela, his grandson Mandla Mandela, and Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, said the purpose of the meeting was to brief the elders about Mandela's condition.

"With some family members living in Johannesburg and others in the Eastern Cape, it becomes important to make sure everyone is kept up to speed with the developments," Holomisa told the Mail & Guardian newspaper's website.

"One does not want to leave the elders behind."

Click here to see the video of Zuma singing.


Read more on:    nehawu  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  bantu holomisa  |  lindiwe sisulu  |  nelson mandela  |  johannesburg

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.