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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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 Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid