News / Africa

Prayers Urged for Critically Ill Mandela

Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa departs Mediclinic Heart Hospital where Nelson Mandela staying, Pretoria, June 25, 2013.
Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa departs Mediclinic Heart Hospital where Nelson Mandela staying, Pretoria, June 25, 2013.
Anita Powell
The family of Nelson Mandela listened late Tuesday as the archbishop of Cape Town offered a prayer asking that the former South African president be granted a "peaceful, perfect end."
 
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba visited the anti-apartheid icon as he approached day 19 in the Pretoria hospital — surpassing the length of his December stay — where the 94-year-old former president has been receiving treatment for a lung infection.
 
On Sunday the world leader slid into critical condition, prompting relatives to gather at his home Tuesday in Qunu, Eastern Cape province, to discuss important family matters.
 
On Wednesday South African President Jacob Zuma, addressing the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) conference in Boksburg, said only that Mandela remains in critical condition and that admirers are encouraged to pray.
 
Ziphozihle Siwa, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, also appealed to people of every faith to join him in praying for Mandela, whom he described as a lifelong Methodist.
 
"We will continue to pray for him, but most importantly, may this time of his illness be a moment where we revisit his ideal of a better world and commit ourselves to be the agents of that better world, as he had given himself to that," said Siwa, who then cited a Bible verse that reminded him of the man celebrated for giving up his own freedom by spending 27 years in prison for his opposition to racist white rule.
 
"There is that passage of scripture in Matthew, chapter 25, where Jesus speaks to the people who helped the little ones, those who have responded to the needs of those who are suffering in one way or the other," he said. "I think that scripture is very appropriate in this time in the life of Mr. Mandela. When he gave himself to all those, when Jesus says, ‘I was hungry, you gave me food, I was in prison, you visited me.’ In other words, ‘I was in need, and you helped me.’ And so God rejoices with people who have responded in that way.”
 
Siwa, who says he met with Mandela on many occasions, praised his ability to remain humble even after being elected the nation’s first black president and receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for his anti-apartheid struggle.
 
“He’s very simple. He’s very loving. He’s warm," said Siwa. "He reaches out and sometimes he amazes me about how he remembers people — and not people in high places, but how he remembers ordinary people.”
 
South Africa's minister of international relations said Tuesday that U.S. President Barack Obama will not meet with Mandela during his upcoming visit to South Africa.
 
A White House spokesman would not speculate Monday about how Mandela's health might impact the Obama visit. Jay Carney said only that the president "continues to look forward to the trip" adding that Obama sees Mandela as one of his heroes.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Senator George T. Tengbeh from: Monrovia, Liberia
June 27, 2013 8:18 AM
I want to tell the world that the former South African president, Nelson Mandela has fought a good fight. He has completed his task on earth. Someone said, " Man has three friends on whose company he relies. First, wealth which goes with him only while good futune lasts. Second, his relatives; they go only as far as the grave and leave him there. The third friend, his good deeds, go with him beyond the grave." The good deeds of my role model, H. E. Nelson Mandela will live years beyond.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid