On a hillside overlooking Johannesburg prayers have filled the air. The world waits. Its focus has sharpened on South Africa and the condition of Nelson Mandela.
The ninety-four-year-old is suffering from a recurring lung infection.. “Every day that he gets older, it gets more serious,” said the president’s spokesman.
Among those who gathered to pray was Sharon Dube who explained,
“I’m praying, because he’s a hero. I want him to be alive.”
Noel Ngwenya was another and said, “Yes we’re praying for him. But we can’t do anything. If the time comes, we wish for him a good way to go. Wherever he goes, to heaven or wherever.”
This is the fifth hospital visit in two years for the man who is regarded as the father of democratic South Africa. He has been ill for several days but it’s understood he deteriorated on Friday night and was transferred to a hospital in Pretoria.
The former president of South Africa has been living in seclusion in Johannesburg and has said nothing in public for eight years. Yet such is the affection in which he is held the prayers in Johannesburg have resonated across the globe.