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Machel thanks Mandela well-wishers

17 June 2013, 16:02

Pretoria - Nelson Mandela’s wife Graça Machel has thanked South Africans and others around the world for the messages of support for her husband who is spending a tenth day in hospital on Monday.

In a message published by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, Machel said: “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.

“The messages have come by letter, by SMS, by phone, by twitter, by Facebook, by email, cards, flowers and the human voice, in particular the voices of children in schools or singing outside our home. We have felt the closeness of the world and the deepest meaning of strength and peace.
“Our gratitude is difficult to express. But the love and peace we feel give yet more life to the simple ‘Thank you!’ ”

‘I love you, Tata’

The elderly former president is being treated in a Pretoria hospital for a lung infection.

Well-wishers left flags, flowers, balloons and get-well-soon cards at the entrance to the Pretoria hospital where Mandela is being treated.

Colourful messages were printed on large pieces of paper and cardboard attached to the hospital's wall next to the security checkpoint.

Some of the messages read: "Get well soon from the sickness. Long live.

From Lazarus [in] Atteridgeville". Another read: "I love you Tata Mandela. From Sharon Duduza".

Mandela, 94, was hospitalised in the early hours of 8 June.

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

"We are grateful that he continues to get better. Over the last two days, although [his condition] remains serious, his doctors have stated that his improvement has been sustained," Zuma said.

The president visited Mandela on Thursday.

Security at the Medi-Clinic Heart hospital remained tight.

Media contingent on watch

On Monday morning, several police officers were searching all vehicles entering the hospital's two entrances.

A contingent of local and international media continued to monitor the entrances.

Members of the Mandela family visited the ailing icon on Father's Day.

Mandela's former wife and ANC MP Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, daughter Zenani Mandela-Dlamini and Mandela's granddaughter Zaziwe were at the hospital on Sunday.


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