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Celebrate Mandela's life - grandson

09 July 2013, 16:24

Pretoria - South Africans should not be saddened by the ill-health of former president Nelson Mandela, but should celebrate his life, the icon's grandson Ndaba Mandela said on Tuesday.

"With less than two weeks to go before the old man's birthday, it's time to celebrate his life. The old man is very much alive," he said in Pretoria.

"When I speak to him he responds. Let us not be in a spirit of sadness but a spirit of celebration, because the old man is still with us today," Ndaba said.

Visitors continued to stream to the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria on Tuesday where Madiba spent his 32nd day in hospital.

Rugby players from Kings College in Wimbledon, London, visited the hospital on Tuesday morning.

"We came to the hospital to experience the appreciation people of South Africa are showing Mandela," said Theo Stanley.

The students are on a two-week rugby tour of South Africa. Stanley said the team had the morning off in Pretoria and saw fit to also pay their respects to the ailing former president.

Mandela's ill-health has made news world-wide.

Some of the rugby players said they did not fully understand the impact his hospital stay had had on them until Tuesday, when they read the messages left by well-wishers.

They said the story was receiving wide media coverage in England, with a lot of questions being asked about the country's future after his death.

"People back home are wishing him a speedy recovery, but there is also interest in how the country will react to his death," Mark Fuller said.



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