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Madiba to spend night in hospital

People from all over the world have sent messages of support following Nelson Mandela’s hospitalisation.

Former President Nelson Mandela made his first television appearance in almost a year, looking thin and frail in his Johannesburg home. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - As Nelson Mandela prepares to spend his first night in hospital for yet another recurrence of his ongoing lung infection, political parties and other organisations have sent their well wishes and prayers to the 94-year-old.

The Presidency issued a statement on Saturday morning saying Madiba has been ill for the past few days and his condition has deteriorated.

It is the statesman's fourth stay in hospital for a recurring lung infection since December.

It is being reported that Madiba's wife Graça Machel has cancelled an appearance in London.

Britain's ITV has reported that Machel was set to appear at a hunger summit in London today but has cancelled for personal reasons.

It is understood she has flown back to South Africa to be with her ailing husband.

POLITICAL PARTIES

The ANC, South African Communist Party (SACP), DA and Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) have taken to social media to wish Madiba well.

Meanwhile, the facility where Madiba is believed to be receiving treatment was abuzz with activity earlier as a camp of journalists waited for news on his condition.

Mandela's daughter Makaziwe was spotted leaving the facility earlier while Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was also seen as the hospital.

However, Motlanthe's spokesman denied that he was visiting Madiba saying he was at the hospital for a check-up.

Meanwhile, the streets around Madiba's Houghton home are cold and deserted now in contrast to earlier in the day when some well-wishers and tourists stopped to take photos of the house.

Earlier, a young boy and his father dropped off flowers with security guards while a group of tourists stopped briefly to take pictures of the ailing statesman's home.

It was from here that Madiba was taken to hospital in the early hours of the morning after doctors had decided his condition had deteriorated.

MESSAGES OF SUPPORT

News of Mandela's hospitalisation has captured the world's attention as any new information is tweeted and retweeted thousands of times since the news broke earlier.

From Cape Town to California prayers and well wishes are pouring into the twitterverse.

Messages from the Philippines, India, Canada, Malaysia and all over the African continent has dominated the social networks with hashtag Nelson Mandela trending since this morning.

Most are praying that the statesman is comfortable and pain free.

The tweets are a mixture of people's well wishes for the global icon while others are reflecting on their favourite Madiba quotes.

He has mesmerised the world. The man, who spent 27 years of his life in prison during the heyday of apartheid, but walked out wanting peace and reconciliation for South Africa.

His release from prison in 1990 made him a more endearing figure as he was ready to get to the drawing board and start the democratic transition.

As news of his deteriorating health spreads, the world is praying for the man who went on to become South Africa's first democratically elected president.

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