South Africans are preparing themselves for the worst after learning that Nelson Mandela is in a “critical “ condition.
The former president is being treated in hospital for a recurrent lung infection.
One Johannesburg resident spoke for many when he said:
“Mr. Mandela I think that he has been one of the most influential leaders not only in South Africa but globally and he is an absolute icon and if he’s gone we just have to accept that he will be gone. But you know, his teachings, what he stood for, we all I’m sure, we all have learnt, we should be able to live with it and reproduce it wherever we go.”
“Madiba is like the one who released my hands. My hands were tied but now my hands are free,” added another local.
Mandela was admitted to hospital earlier this month where his condition had been described as “serious but stable”.
But on Sunday friends and family were told his health had worsened .
It is the fourth time in six months that the 94-year-old has been in hospital. His lung infection dates back to the 27 years he spent in jail for his role in fighting apartheid.
Mandela emerged from prison in 1990 to become, four years later, the country’s first black, democratically elected president.
His worsening condition is a major concern for South Africa’s 53 million people, for whom Mandela is considered to be the father of the post-apartheid “Rainbow Nation”.