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Mandela spending 25th day in hospital

02 July 2013, 12:07

Johannesburg - Messages of support for ailing former president Nelson Mandela continue to pour in at the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, where he is spending his 25th day on Tuesday.

It was quiet outside the hospital where the 94-year-old anti-apartheid icon remained in a critical condition.

Three street cleaners picked up litter along Celliers Street and journalists were setting up their cameras.

Three candles left overnight continued to burn near the wall where well-wishing messages had been left.


Passers-by took pictures of the wall with their cellphones and others posed with Madiba's portrait.

"The messages are touching," remarked Obed Metsi, after reading some of them.

"So many messages from little kids - it is moving," he said with tears forming in his eyes, before he left.

In their message on a giant poster, Readetswe Mmekwa and Linda Motlaletoo appealed to God to heal Madiba.

"We are here to pray and remind the Lord that tata Mandela has served him faithfully and loyally. What he tried to do was what He wanted him to do. Please Lord grant him your mercy."

Another message scribbled on Venezuela's national flag read: "Venezuela loves you Madiba."

The people of South Sudan also left a message: "We pray for a hero, our man Madiba to be out of this sickness with all the power from Allah the almighty."

A message from Nigerian students read: "Get well soon, we love you."

Mandela was admitted to hospital on 8 June with a recurring lung infection.

On Monday, the presidency said his condition was still critical, but stable.

"We remind all South Africans to begin planning for Madiba's birthday on July 18," President Jacob Zuma said.

"We must all be able to do something good for humanity on this day, in tribute to our former president."

Zuma thanked everyone who had kept Mandela and his family in their thoughts and prayers.



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