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.


SA waits as Mandela's condition worsens

27 June 2013, 14:51

Johannesburg - Millions prayed and waited on Thursday after another downturn in the condition of Nelson Mandela forced President Jacob Zuma to cancel a trip to neighbouring Mozambique.

Zuma, who arrived at the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria on Thursday, had been due to attend a summit in Maputo of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to discuss regional infrastructure, but pulled out after visiting the 94-year-old former president in hospital late on Wednesday.

"Over the past 48 hours, the condition of former president Madiba has gone down," presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj told SABC.

On Thursday morning, Mandela's eldest daughter Makaziwe led a group of his grandchildren to see him in the Pretoria hospital where he has been receiving treatment since 8 June for a lung infection.

Makaziwe told SABC radio after her visit that Mandela was responding to touch.

"I won't lie, it doesn't look good. But as I say, if we speak to him, he responds and tries to open his eyes. He's still there. He might be waning off, but he's still there," she said.

One granddaughter, Ndileka, described him as "stable" and thanked well-wishers from around the world for their support.

Maharaj had earlier declined to comment on media reports that Mandela was on life support, saying his privacy should be respected.

Mandela's fourth hospitalisation in six months has forced a growing realisation among South Africans that the man regarded as the father of their post-apartheid "Rainbow Nation" will not be among them forever.

"Mandela is very old and at that age, life is not good. I just pray that God takes him this time. He must go. He must rest," said Ida Mashego, a 60-year-old office cleaner in Johannesburg's Sandton financial district.

‘Celebrating his life’

US President Barack Obama is due to visit South Africa at the weekend as part of a three-nation Africa tour he has already started in Senegal.

Maharaj said it was too early to say whether Obama's schedule in Johannesburg and Cape Town on Saturday and Sunday might be affected by Mandela's worsening condition.

Well-wishers' messages, bouquets and stuffed animals have piled up outside Mandela's Johannesburg home and the wall of the hospital compound where he is being treated in the capital.

As they headed to work on Thursday, South Africans seemed resigned to the prospect of losing their hero.

"We are all going to feel bad when he passes, but at the same time we will be celebrating his life. He has done so many great things for this country," said John Ndlovu, a 25-year-old office worker.

Mandela stepped down in 1999 after one five-year term in office.

Since then he has played little role in public life, dividing his time in retirement between his home in the wealthy Johannesburg suburb of Houghton and Qunu, the village in the impoverished Eastern Cape province where he was born.

The public's last glimpse of him was a brief clip aired by state television in April during a visit to his home by Zuma and other officials from the ANC.

At the time, the ANC said Mandela was "in good shape", although the footage showed a thin and frail old man sitting expressionless in an armchair.

- Reuters


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...