South Africans hope,pray as Mandela’s condition improves

South Africans hope,pray as Mandela’s condition improves

Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993

Nelson Mandela’s condition has improved,though he remained critical,even as South African President Jacob Zuma Thursday cancelled his trip to Mozambique to see the anti-apartheid icon.

Mandela’s eldest daughter Makaziwe,however,warned that her father,who was hospitalised 20 days ago for a recurring lung ailment,was “very critical” and “anything is imminent”.

As the eyes of the world remain fixed on the health condition of the 94-year-old peace hero,Zuma said Mandela’s medical team told him that the former president “remains critical but is now stable.”

Mandela’s “condition has improved during the course of the night,” Zuma said in a statement after visiting him for a second time in 24 hours at the hospital in Pretoria.


“I cancelled my visit to Mozambique today so that I could see him and confer with the doctors. He is much better today than he was when I saw him last night. The medical team continues to do a sterling job. We must pray for Tata’s health and wish him well,” Zuma said using Mandela’s clan name.

He also urged people to refrain from spreading rumours about the democracy icon’s medical condition.

Earlier,Makaziwe said her father was opening his eyes and still reactive to touch. “I re-iterate that Tata (father) is very critical that anything is imminent,” Makaziwe said as the Mandela family gathered at the hospital to visit the peace icon.

“But I want to emphasise again that it’s only God who knows when the time to go is and so we will wait with him… he’s still giving us hope opening his eyes he’s still reactive to touch we will live with that hope until the final end comes,” she said.

Mandela,respected across the globe as a symbol of resistance against injustice,had a long history of lung problems,dating back to the time when he was a political prisoner on Robben Island during apartheid. While in jail he contracted tuberculosis.

Mandela,regarded the founding father of South Africa’s multiracial democracy,served as the country’s first black president from 1994 to 1999. He left power after five years as president.

Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

He turns 95 on July 18.

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