Madiba spends the night in hospital

Nelson Mandela spent Saturday night in hospital after being admitted in the early hours of the morning.

Nelson Mandela at his homestead in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape. Picture: Lyoness.TV.

JOHANNESBURG - With former President Nelson Mandela having spent his first night back in hospital, South Africans have continued to wish him good health.

Madiba was taken to a Pretoria hospital in the early hours of Saturday morning when his condition deteriorated.

The 94-year-old statesman is under hospital care for a recurring lung infection that the presidency said worsened over the last few days.

This is the fourth time since December last year that the former president has been admitted to hospital.

He spent two weeks at the facility in March this year.


As Madiba's towering statue looked over the popular Sandton Nelson Mandela Square those who passed it wished Madiba a speedy recovery.

While children at the square remained oblivious to the former statesman's ill health the adults were very much aware of the seriousness of his latest admission to hospital.

Even international tourists voiced their concern.

"I hope he recovers fast and gets well soon," one tourist told Eyewitness News.


The Pretoria hospital where Nelson Mandela is believed to be receiving top medical care was buzzing with activity on Saturday.

Mandela's daughter Makaziwe was spotted leaving the facility and the presidency confirmed his wife Gra├ža Machel had spent the day with her husband.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was also seen at the hospital but his spokesman denied that he had visited with Madiba saying he'd been at the Pretoria hospital for a check-up.

Later in the afternoon a blue-light convoy was seen leaving the facility with hospital security closing the road to allow the ambulance and three black BMW cars to speed off.


Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj told Eyewitness News if there was anything serious going on with Madiba's condition the press would know about it.

The Presidency also acknowledged the public's support for Mandela.

"Let's accept, Madiba is a fighter and as along as his spirit is there he's going to be around."

Maharaj added that while there is still public anxiety when there are issues related to Madiba's health, he believes that the public is starting to accept that he is an old man.

"It's a very healthy thing that our people are concerned. It's an expression of the role model that he is."

He said the recurring lung infection goes back to Madiba's time spent in prison but with his age it takes longer to recover.

Meanwhile, prayers from Cape Town to California are still 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 Saturday morning.

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