Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Candles continue to burn for Mandela

26 June 2013, 08:38

Pretoria - Burning candles, bouquets of pink and red flowers, paintings and hundreds of messages at the entrance of a Pretoria hospital on Wednesday urged critically-ill former president Nelson Mandela to soldier on.

Well-wishers have consistently registered support for Mandela in different forms, transforming the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital's security wall into a miniature art gallery.

The celebrated anti-apartheid icon was admitted at the facility in the early hours of 8 June for a recurring lung infection.

The catalogue of presents, get-well-soon cards, mainly handwritten on cardboard, eclipsed the hospital's signpost at the entrance on Celliers Street.

A card attached to a white teddy bear read: "Dearest Madiba. Thank you for everything you have done for our country. You are and will always be a true legend and a grandfather to all. From Alphonso Tania".

Another read: "Tata Madiba, the Lord knows the plans of his children. May you get better, but even if you don't, we will still love you as a nation. [From] Lwandile".

Three candles were burning slowly near the messages. Many balloons, including several from a popular pizza outlet, were tied with ribbon onto bunches of flowers.

Security at the private hospital has been upscaled since Madiba was admitted.

Journalists braving the cold

At 05:00 on Wednesday, several police officers started screening vehicles entering the facility.

Despite the cold, scores of journalists from local and international media houses stayed outside the hospital.

Several broadcast vans still had their engines running. The news crews also set up generators for back-up power.

Tshwane metro police officers parked near journalists on Celliers street. Numerous police patrol cars were also in the area.

Mandela's home in Houghton was quiet on Wednesday morning, with police cars occasionally patrolling the area.

At around 01.10, three cars and one van from the Johannesburg metro police came down 4th Street, and turned into the street where Mandela's house is located.

The van at the back of the patrol switched on its hazard lights, reversed and parked in the street in front of the gate before flashing its headlights.

About eight officers got out of the vehicles and had a discussion in front of the gate for 10 minutes before they all got back into the cars and drove off slowly.


Many Mandela family members, politicians, socialites and religious leaders have visited Madiba at the hospital since he was admitted on 8 June.

On Tuesday, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Pumla-Makaziwe Mandela visited the Medi-Clinic Heart hospital, in Arcadia, east of Pretoria.

Mapisa-Nqakula arrived in a black Mercedes-Benz with blue flashing police lights shortly before 19:00.

Minutes earlier Mandela's eldest daughter, Pumla Makaziwe-Mandela, and his granddaughters Tukwini and Ndileka Mandela, arrived at the hospital in a red Range Rover.

Shortly before their arrival, Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba left the hospital.

Madiba's step-daughter Jozina Machel was also at the hospital.

Controversial businessman Kenny Kunene arrived at the hospital's Celliers street entrance to place flowers and speak to the media.

After Kunene's visit, more Tshwane metro police officers arrived at the entry point.

They cordoned off Celliers Street where it meets with Park Street.

Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa arrived to check on the police officers and left after a brief discussion with them.

Earlier on Tuesday, the presidency confirmed that Mandela remained in a critical condition.

"[Mandela's] condition remains unchanged in hospital, and doctors continue to do their best to ensure his recovery, wellbeing, and comfort," spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement.


Join in the conversation on our Facebook page. Also get the latest news by following us on Twitter. 



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Cyril Mike Odhiz
Kenyans furious on young lady aft...

A young Kenyan woman is the talk of town after she posted a photo with her elderly lover after a round of steamy sex, or so the photo suggested.  Read more...

Submitted by
Kiplangat langat
Uhuru could be a one term Presid...

Bomet governor Isaac Ruto has said that President Uhuru Kenyatta could be a one term President if he fails to increase allocations to the counties. Read more...

Submitted by
Mody Sammy
35 year old farmer a new milliona...

A 35 year old farmer from Mpeketoni Lamu county has become the latest millionaire in town as she became winner in the ongoing ‘Shinda Mamili na Story Ibambe’. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Leave your past relationship bagg...

Leave your past relationship baggage at the door when you start a new relationship. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Advice from a young married Kenya...

I was just going to get water in the office kitchen and thought a simple hi was fine until I ended up in an hour long conversation with someone. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Helping you find the type of man ...

To put it simply, you can’t go looking for fish in a meat market; you have to go to a fish market. Read more...