Tag Archive: Pretoria


Mandela ‘much better’, says President Zuma

ANC SUPPORTERS GATHER TO SING
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© FRANCE 24/ Charlotte Boitiaux

  Earlier, Mandela’s granddaughter told reporters that he was in a “very critical but stable” condition.

By Catherine NORRIS TRENT reporting from Pretoria (video)
FRANCE 24

Nelson Mandela’s health has improved overnight though the anti-apartheid hero remains in a critical condition, the office of South African President Jacob Zuma said Thursday.

“He is much better today than he was when I saw him last night. The medical team continues to do a sterling job,” Zuma said in a statement.

He added that although Mandela’s condition remains critical, it is now “stable”,

The President’s comments come after Mandela’s granddaughter Ndileka Mandela told reporters earlier on Thursday that the former South African president is in a “very critical but stable” condition. “Anything is imminent,” she added. Mandela was put on life support on Wednesday.

Ndileka emerged from the hospital with other family members to accept bouquets of flowers from members of the public, FRANCE 24’s Charlotte Boitiaux reported. She returned to Mandela’s bedside in tears, she said.

Mandela’s eldest daughter Makaziwe said Mandela was 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 after visiting him in hospital on Thursday.

Family elder Napilisi Mandela, who had been at Mandela’s bedside on Wednesday evening, told AFP that he was using machines to breathe. “It is bad, but what can we do,” he said.

Zuma cancels plans

President Zuma late Wednesday abruptly cancelled a trip to neighbouring Mozambique after he visited Mandela, who has been in critical condition for several days.

It is the first time Zuma has scrapped a public engagement since Mandela was hospitalised on June 8 with a recurring lung infection.

“President Zuma was briefed by the doctors who are still doing everything they can to ensure his well-being,” a statement from the presidency said.

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Prayer vigil for Nelson Mandela after condition improves

Karen Allen said people had been singing and lighting candles outside the hospital in Pretoria

South Africans have been holding an all-night prayer vigil for former President Nelson Mandela, outside his former home in Soweto.

The crowd have been singing and saying prayers for Mr Mandela’s health, on what is now his 20th night in hospital.

South Africa’s first black president – an icon of the anti-apartheid struggle – is suffering from a lung infection.

President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday that the 94-year-old’s condition had improved, but still remained critical.

“He is much better today than he was when I saw him last night,” Mr Zuma said after speaking to Mr Mandela’s medical team.

Mr Zuma cancelled a visit to Mozambique to visit Mr Mandela in hospital.

Meanwhile Mr Mandela’s daughter Makaziwe said he was “still there” and responding to touch.

Nelson Mandela’s eldest daughter Makiziwe’s criticism has echoed the sentiments of many South Africans who have baulked at the “intrusive” nature of some of the media coverage around the former president’s state of health.

One such report suggested that Mr Mandela had suffered cardiac arrest on 8 June when he was rushed to hospital, and more recently some unconfirmed media reports said the national icon was now on life support. Some have described such details as “too much information”, others as “insensitive”.

Meanwhile the media continues to camp outside the heart hospital in Pretoria where he is being treated, as well as outside his home in Johannesburg, waiting for any news.

This is particularly uncomfortable for traditional South Africans, who see all the media attention as not only distasteful but also going against African culture.

There is a huge respect for death here and it is never mentioned before the event.

Even in this dark hour, very few speak frankly about the 94-year-old’s passing – instead many are still praying for his recovery.

But she accused some journalists of being like vultures, waiting for her father to die.

Emotional crowds gathered outside the hospital, adding messages of support for Mr Mandela, known by his clan name Madiba.

Children released 94 balloons – one for every year of the ex-president’s life – into the air in his honour.

Correspondents say South Africans now seem resigned to the prospect of his death.

“We don’t like seeing Mandela going through so much pain, he has had a tough time in his life and he’s gone through a lot of struggle. I think this struggle should get over sooner,” Khulile Mlondleni told Reuters news agency.

“We are all going to feel bad when he passes [away], but at the same time we will be celebrating his life. He has done so many great things for this country,” said 25-year-old John Ndlovu, quoted by the agency.

As crowds prayed in Soweto on Thursday evening, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) said it would hold vigils each day that the former leader remained in hospital.

 

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 Nelson Mandela: Earrings bearing the image of Nelson Mandela

AP Photo: Themba Hadebe. A woman wears earrings bearing the image of Nelson Mandela outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where he is being treated in Pretoria, South Africa.
 

A tribal chief who talked with family members of Nelson Mandela hinted that the former leader is on life support.

JOHANNESBURG — South Africans were torn on Wednesday between the desire not to lose a critically ill Nelson Mandela, who defined the aspirations of so many of his compatriots, and resignation that the beloved former prisoner and president is approaching the end of his life.

The sense of anticipation and foreboding about Mandela’s fate has grown since late Sunday, when the South African government declared that the condition of the 94-year-old statesman, who was rushed to a hospital in Pretoria on June 8, had deteriorated.

A tide of emotional tributes has built on social media and in handwritten messages and flowers laid outside the hospital and Mandela’s home. On Wednesday, about 20 children from a day care center posted a handmade card outside the hospital and recited a poem.

Gallery: Nation waits for news on Mandela

“Hold on, old man,” was one of the lines in the Zulu poem, according to the South African Press Association.

In recent days, international leaders, celebrities, athletes and others have praised Mandela, not just as the man who steered South Africa through its tense transition from white racist rule to democracy two decades ago, but as a universal symbol of sacrifice and reconciliation.

In South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, where Mandela grew up, a traditional leader said the time was near for Mandela, who is also known by his clan name, Madiba.

“I am of the view that if Madiba is no longer enjoying life and is on life support systems, and is not appreciating what is happening around him, I think the good Lord should take the decision to put him out of his suffering,” said the tribal chief, Phathekile Holomisa.

“I did speak to two of his family members, and of course they are in a lot of pain and wish that a miracle might happen, that he recovers again and he becomes his old self again,” he said. “But at the same time, they are aware there is a limit what miracles you can have.”

Related: Children sing for Mandela in the hospital

For many South Africans, Mandela’s decline is a far more personal matter, echoing the protracted and emotionally draining process of losing one of their own elderly relatives.

One nugget of wisdom about the arc of life and death came from Matthew Rusznyah, a 9-year-old boy who stopped outside Mandela’s home in the Johannesburg neighborhood of Houghton to show his appreciation.

“We came because we care about Mandela being sick and we wish we could put a stop to it, like snap our fingers,” he said. “But we can’t. It’s how life works.”

His mother, Lee Rusznyah, said Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison under apartheid before becoming South Africa’s first black president in all-race elections in 1994, had made the world a better place.

“All of us will end,” Thabo Makgoba, the Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday. “We just want him to be peacefully released, whatever he’s feeling at this moment, and to be reunited with his maker at the perfect time, when God so wills.”

 

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Nelson Mandela taken to hospital in ‘serious’ condition

Nelson Mandela taken to hospital in 'serious' condition
© AFP

Former South African president Nelson Mandela is in a “serious but stable” condition after being admitted to a Pretoria hospital on Saturday due to a recurrence of a lung infection, the country’s government has said.

By News Wires (text)

Nelson Mandela was readmitted to hospital early on Saturday with a renewed lung infection and was in “serious but stable condition,” South Africa’s presidency said, marking the second hospital stay in as many months for the ailing anti-apartheid icon.

“During the past few days former president Nelson Mandela has had a recurrence of lung infection,” President Jacob Zuma’s office said in a statement.

“This morning at about 1:30 am (2330 GMT Friday) his condition deteriorated and he was transferred to a Pretoria hospital. He remains in a serious but stable condition,” it said.

It marks the second hospitalisation in as many months for the frail anti-apartheid hero, who will turn 95 in July. On April 6 he was released after being treated for pneumonia during a 10-day stay.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has stayed in hospital four times in just over half a year, mostly over problems with his chest.

In December 2012, he was hospitalised for 18 days for a lung infection and for gallstones surgery, his longest stay in hospital since he walked free from 27 years in jail in 1990.

In March he was admitted for a day for a scheduled check-up and during his 10-day stay weeks later, doctors drained a build-up of fluid, known as a pleural effusion or “water on the lungs”, that had developed in his chest.

Zuma’s office said on Saturday that “the former President is receiving expert medical care and doctors are doing everything possible to make him better and comfortable.”

“President Jacob Zuma, on behalf of government and the nation, wishes Madiba a speedy recovery and requests the media and the public to respect the privacy of Madiba and his family.”

Earth Watch Report  –  Extreme Weather

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wildlifeextra.com
Thu, 24 Jan 2013 11:52 CST

Budgerigars drop dead in the heat in Western Australia

Heat waves can be deadly for birds

As the heat wave in Australia continues, many birds may no longer be able to take the heat and large numbers could die as a result, researchers at the Universities of Cape Town and Pretoria warn.

“Heat waves in 2009 and 2010, which did not reach the intensity of the current record-breaking heat wave, led to large die-offs of birds in parts of Australia” says Prof. Andrew McKechnie. Over the last few days, people are beginning to report finding dead birds in their backyards on Twitter. Conditions are likely worsening as the heat wave wears on.

An international research team, led by researchers at the Percy FitzPatrick Instutute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town, are investigating how heat waves affect the physiology and behaviour of birds. They are on high alert for reports of impacts of the current Australian heat wave as such events will be valuable for predicting how climate change will affect birds.

 

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