News / Africa

S. Africa’s President Visits Mandela Twice in 24 Hours

An unidentified young girl lays flowers outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, June 27, 2013.
An unidentified young girl lays flowers outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, June 27, 2013.
Anita Powell
South African President Jacob Zuma on Thursday visited anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela for the second time in under 24 hours, a sign of growing concern about the former president’s health.  Mandela has remained in critical condition in a Pretoria hospital for five days, but his condition slightly improved Thursday, officials said.
 
Nelson Mandela has struggled for most of his life: first against South Africa’s racist apartheid system, then for 27 long years in prison, and then to bring his fractured nation together as its president.
 
His past 19 days in a Pretoria hospital have been a struggle as well, as the former fighter has battled a serious lung infection.  For two weeks he was in serious but stable condition; the past five days, he has been in critical condition.
 
President Jacob Zuma visited Mandela twice in under 24 hours; first late on Wednesday and then again on Thursday afternoon. Zuma determined Wednesday night that Mandela’s condition was severe enough for him to cancel a planned one-day trip to Mozambique.  On Thursday he was more optimistic, saying the former president had improved overnight.  
 
Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj praised Mandela’s resilience.  The two men got to know each other while imprisoned at Robben Island.  Maharaj referred to the former leader by his clan name, Madiba.
 
“Well, we all know that Madiba is a fighter.  He has been through so much, both at the health level and in other arenas of life.  He’s endured it all.  I think that he has phenomenal willpower. And this is a matter that’s between him and God,” said Maharaj.
 
President Zuma’s office on Thursday confirmed that the ailing leader’s health has not disrupted U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan to visit South Africa on Friday.  The two leaders will hold bilateral talks on Saturday.
 
Makaziwe Mandela (R), arrives with Ndileka (C) and Ndaba Mandela at the Pretoria hospital where former President Nelson Mandela is being treated, June 26, 2013.Makaziwe Mandela (R), arrives with Ndileka (C) and Ndaba Mandela at the Pretoria hospital where former President Nelson Mandela is being treated, June 26, 2013.
x
Makaziwe Mandela (R), arrives with Ndileka (C) and Ndaba Mandela at the Pretoria hospital where former President Nelson Mandela is being treated, June 26, 2013.
Makaziwe Mandela (R), arrives with Ndileka (C) and Ndaba Mandela at the Pretoria hospital where former President Nelson Mandela is being treated, June 26, 2013.
Mandela’s daughter Makaziwe told state broadcaster SABC that “anything is imminent” with regards to her father’s condition in an exclusive interview aired Thursday.
 
“He doesn’t look good, Vuyo, I mean, I’m not going to lie.  But I think that for us, as his children and grandchildren, we still have this hope because, you know, when we talk to him, he will flutter trying to open his eyes and will open his eyes.  When you touch him he still responds, and I think for us, as his progeny, as long as Tata is still responding, when we talk to him, when we touch him, I think that gives us hope,” she said.
 
She also criticized the intense media coverage her father has received.  Maharaj, too, has verbally tussled with journalists who have pressed the government for detailed information on Mandela.  He has also lashed out over unconfirmed reports about the 94-year-old’s medical condition.
 
“The rumors are going on.  They have been going on for a long time.  And we do not want to spend our time contradicting rumors and making that a story to create an atmosphere of panic among the public," he said.  "I think there is already a reasonable atmosphere of somberness, of seriousness in the country, and of people reflecting on the meaning of Mandela, and wanting to celebrate his life.  And so that is the space we are sitting in." And we think that working together, with the tasks that media have and government has, and the challenges faced by the family, we can manage this process with dignity and with regard to privacy.”
 
Also Thursday, the ruling African National Congress said they would start holding daily prayer sessions for Mandela.  Spokesman Keith Khoza said the party urged people to pray for Mandela’s full recovery.
 
Mandela was the first ANC leader to be elected South African president, and the first black man to be elected president in the nation’s first all-inclusive elections in 1994.  He was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in bringing apartheid to an end.

  • Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, ex-wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela, holds a candle during a prayer service for the ailing Mandela at a church in Johannesburg, July 5, 2013. 
  • Ndaba Mandela (R), one of former South African President Nelson Mandela's grandsons, and an unidentified companion leave the Mediclinic Heart Hospital, where the former president is being treated, in Pretoria, July 5, 2013. 
  • Well-wishers pray in support of ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela in front of the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where he is being treated in Pretoria, July 5, 2013.
  • Daughter, Makaziwe Mandela, leaves after visiting the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, July 5, 2013. 
  • Well-wishers post messages outside the hospital where ailing former President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, July 5, 2013. 
  • A well-wisher weeps as he pays his respects outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital, where ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, July 1, 2013.
  • Boys hold a candle as they pay their respects outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital, where ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, July 1, 2013.
  • Men stand next to a banner covered with portraits of Nelson Mandela to a wall outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, June 28, 2013.
  • A well-wisher pays respect to ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, June 27, 2013.
  • Granddaughters Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway and Tukwini Mandela are surrounded by the media outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, June 27, 2013.
  • Children release 95 white balloons to mark the upcoming birthday of ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, June 27, 2013.

You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bill Kleinsturn
June 27, 2013 1:20 PM
27 "long" years, eh?

Way to editorialize, CNN.


by: AKRAM from: CANADA
June 27, 2013 1:18 PM
As per Islamic teaching we can run away from death for some time but not for ever and every one will have to die one day.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid