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

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office 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.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs