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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
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 International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
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 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