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Family members continue to visit Mandela

17 June 2013, 18:16

Pretoria - Former president Nelson Mandela's ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela arrived at the Pretoria hospital on Monday where the elder statesman is being treated for a recurring lung infection.

Madikizela-Mandela arrived at the Medi-Clinic Heart hospital after 13:00 in a black Audi.

Mandela's daughters, Zenani and Makaziwe and step-daughter Josina Machel were also at the hospital.

Josina, who is the daughter of Mandela's wife Graça and the late Samora Machel, former president of Mozambique, arrived at the hospital with another woman. Unlike members of the Mandela family her car was searched by police at the entrance.

Several clergymen from the Methodist Church had also arrived.

Family members went to look at the messages of support left at the hospital entrance for the ailing icon who was spending his tenth day in hospital.

They took some of the cards and flowers back into the hospital with them.

Well-wishers had left flags, flowers, balloons and get-well-soon cards at the entrance of the hospital.

Two flags were tied onto the hospital's security wall along Celliers Street. A message on one of the flags read: "The long walk to freedom continues".

Mandela, 94, was admitted to hospital in the early hours of June 8, with a recurring lung infection. The presidency said he was in a "serious but stable" condition.

President Jacob Zuma told a Youth Day celebration on Sunday in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, Mandela's health had shown improvement despite him still being in a serious condition.

Zuma had visited Mandela in hospital on Thursday.

Earlier, Mandela's wife thanked everyone who had sent messages of support for her husband.

"So much love and generosity from South Africans, Africans across the continent, and thousands more from across the world, have come our way to lighten the burden of anxiety, bringing us love, comfort and hope," Graça Machel said in a statement.

"We have felt the closeness of the world and the deepest meaning of strength and peace."

Machel said the family's gratitude was difficult to express.

"But the love and peace we feel gives yet more life to the simple thank you."




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