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Mandela's family keeps up visits

27 June 2013, 16:00

Johannesburg - Nelson Mandela's granddaughter Ndileka Mandela kept up the stream of family visitors to the critically-ill former president at the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria on Thursday.

Another grandchild, Mandla Mandela, had left a little while earlier, his vehicle nosing through the swell of well-wishers arriving to drop off get-well cards, flowers and balloons for Mandela.

The presidency's announcement mid-afternoon that Mandela's condition had improved during the course of the night, eased the tension brought on by no new information earlier.

The presidency statement said: "President Jacob Zuma visited former president Nelson Mandela in hospital in Pretoria today, 27 June, and was informed by the medical team that Madiba's condition has improved during the course of the night.

"He remains critical, but is now stable," said spokesperson Mac Maharaj.

Ninety-three-year-old Josephine Siwela, bent over her crutch, was among those outside the hospital.

She said she had come from Queenstown in the Eastern Cape.

"I just wanted to come wish my hero well," said Siwela, holding a copy of Mandela's book Conversations with Myself.

An ANC Women's League (ANCWL) branch, from Ward 16 in inner city Tshwane Central, kept spirits up outside with a song translated from Setswana, "Nelson Mandela, there is no one like him".

Branch chairperson Letitia Morabe said: "Tata is our father. We will pray for him to heal quickly."

Asked if she was aware that his condition had improved, she said they would continue to pray for him to be "even better".



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