The scene outside the Pretoria hospital where former president Nelson Mandela is receiving treatment for a lung condition is like a giant ‘get well soon’ card to the man loved and respected by millions around the globe.
The media has come to share the story of a nation’s prayers for the man who is a symbol of unity, equality and freedom.
The street leading to the entrance of the hospital has been barricaded to control vehicular and pedestrian traffic. People have come from far and wide to leave cards, gifts, letters and prayers for the man fondly called ‘Tata’.
Mandela has been in hospital for nearly three weeks now. The night he was admitted it was reported that his condition was serious but stable. On Sunday, he was said to be in a critical condition. Earlier this week, CBS News, a respected news source, reported that Mandela went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated. It also reported that he hadn’t opened his eyes for days and had undergone two procedures, one to insert a tube into his body and another to repair a bleeding ulcer. Their report also revealed that Madiba’s kidney and liver functions were down to 50%. However, Maharaj repudiated this report.
Recent media reports have been unanimously indicating that Madiba’s condition is deteriorating. It has been affirmed that he is currently on life support. However on Thursday (27th), President Jacob Zuma said Madiba was getting better, bringing back hope to millions of people who are not ready to let go of him. Zuma said: “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. We must also continue with our work and daily activities while Madiba remains hospitalised.”
Below is a photo gallery of the scene outside the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria where Madiba is being treated: