Mandela spends 8th day in hospital

JOHANNESBURG - As ailing former president Nelson Mandela spends his eighth day receiving treatment for a recurring lung infection with well-wishes continue to be posted outside a Pretoria hospital on Sunday.

A string of balloons with slogans such as “Get well soon Tata” written on them were hung on the gate outside the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria.

Over the eight days in hospital, people hung up posters, cards and placards, flowers, and a small South African flag.

Security remained tight with police officers thoroughly searching each car before it entered.

The number of journalists outside the hospital decreased slightly yesterday morning compared with earlier in the week.

Camera crews were at both entrances in the hope of catching family members as they entered and left the hospital.

Mandela was admitted to the hospital in the early hours of last Saturday. His grandson Mandla updated mourners on his condition at the funeral of the former president’s cousin, Florence Mandela, in Qunu, Eastern Cape, on Saturday.

“He is doing better,” Mandla said in Xhosa.

Family members were expected to visit the former statesman on Father’s Day and Youth Day.

The presidency described Mandela’s condition as “serious, but stable”.

President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by African National Congress treasurer general Zweli Mkhize, visited him on Thursday.

“Madiba’s health continues to improve, but his condition remains serious,” Zuma said in a statement issued afterwards. — Sapa

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