South Africans are gathering outside the hospital where their former President Nelson Mandela remains critical “but stable”, according to the South African government
According to his eldest daughter, Makaziwe, Mandela is still responding to touch, “I won’t lie, it doesn’t look good. But as I say, if we speak to him, he responds and tries to open his eyes. He’s still there. He might be waning off, but he’s still there” she told SABC radio.
Despite a small improvement overnight, the former anti-apartheid activist’s worsening condition forced current South African President Jacob Zuma to cancel a trip to Mozambique.
Mandela has been in hospital for 20 days, suffering from a recurring lung infection.
“We don’t like seeing Mandela going through so much pain, he is going through a tough time in his life and he’s gone through a lot of struggle so I think this struggle should get over sooner,” said one supporter, Khulile Mlondleni.
Local resident, Mercury Melato also expressed her gratitude to the former leader:
“If the time has come for him to rest that its all fine and we understand, he doesn’t need to fight any more, he has already done so much you know, we can’t really begin to explain the gratitude that we have for him but we just want to say to him that we are here, we are supporting him,” she said.
Speaking during his trip to Africa US President Barack Obama has said his thoughts and prayers are with Mandela’s family, he also said that if Mandela passes his legacy would live on for many ages.
As South Africans gathered around the hospital to pray, sing and light candles for Mandela, they were faced with the reality that he would not be with them forever.