South Africans bring messages of support to ailing Mandela

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South Africans bring messages of support to ailing Mandela

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Former South African President Nelson Mandela remains in critical condition in hospital.

The 94-year-old was admitted more than two weeks ago to a Pretoria clinic, where he has been receiving treatment for a recurring lung infection.

There has been a mass outpouring of support for the man who led the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and became the country’s first black president in 1994.

Outside the clinic, a young well-wisher said: “He’s our father of the nation. That’s why I want to make sure that he’s still alive.”

While some do not want to imagine a South Africa after Mandela, others are bracing themselves to say goodbye.

One woman said: “I think he’s touched the heart of every single South African, and I think he’s touched the hearts of people all over the world. So it’s a tremendous personal loss to all South Africans, and to us as a nation.”

Mandela’s family has said he is peaceful, and they have asked for his privacy and dignity to be respected.