“Mandela we love you” are the opening words of a song 50 South African schoolchildren sang to mark the two month anniversary since the former president was admitted to hospital with a lung infection.
They gathered outside the clinic where the 95-year-old is receiving care. Religious leaders conducted prayers for his health which the South African government has again described as “critical but stable”.
“He is critically ill and like everyone of his age who did not have a glorious life, were subjected to what they were subjected to on Robben Island, crushing stones. They were crushing their souls,” said former wife Winnie Mandela.
Rumours have persisted that Mandela is in a permanent vegetative state and dependent on life support to survive.
“They have already pre-deceased him. And around us you see people erecting structures preparing for a funeral. What human being can withstand that?” added Winnie Mandela.
Some reports on the health of the Nobel Peace Prize winner have said he is responsive and on the road to recovery. But there is no indication when he might leave hospital.