Former South African president and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela is likely to spend the weekend in hospital although he is said to be making progress.
This being the time of the Christian Easter festival, South Africans are being asked to remember Mandela in their prayers. But they are grateful for any updates on his condition and his response to treatment for a recurring lung infection.
“Dada (referring to Nelson Mandela) is doing well. He is responding very well to treatment and we thank the media for at least giving us space and respecting the privacy of the family. We are very very grateful to you and the rest of the country,” said Winnie Mandela, former wife of Nelson Mandela.
Mandela is being cared for in an undisclosed hospital in Pretoria – it’s his third hospital stay in four months and positive news of the man considered the father of the nation is a relief.
“It’s great news for the country,” said one local resident. “ I mean he is our biggest brand, our biggest statesman. We wouldn’t want to loose him now. I believe there is still a lot that he has to witness that South Africa can achieve.”
Although the 94-year-old has been out of public view for several years now this latest bout of ill health has prompted good will messages from his admirers around the world.