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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid