Madiba: No Zuma visit yet

President Jacob Zuma is yet to visit ailing former statesman Nelson Mandela in hospital.

Former president Nelson Mandela is seen during a graduation ceremony at the Medunsa campus of the University of Limpopo in this file photo dated 4 December 2009. Mandela celebrates his 94th birthday on Wednesday. Picture: SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma is yet to visit ailing former statesman Nelson Mandela in hospital.

The Presidency on Monday told Eyewitness News the president would visit when the time was right.

On Saturday morning, the Presidency issued a statement saying Madiba had been ill for the past few days and his condition had deteriorated.

Mandela was taken to a Pretoria hospital at 1:30am.

This is Madiba's fourth hospital stay since December.

Earlier on Monday, the Presidency issued a new statement saying Mandela remained in intensive care and his condition remained unchanged.

Eyewitness News has been unable to contact the Presidency to confirm when Zuma will visit.

Journalists are still camped outside the facility where Madiba is believed to be receiving treatment.

Meanwhile, the ANC has joined in the chorus of voices wishing the 94-year-old a quick recovery and asked the world to keep him and his family in their prayers.

Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj earlier dismissed reports that the Mandela family had banned visitors.

_The Star _newspaper reported the family instructed hospital staff to only allow relatives to see him.

But the ANC said it was not told about any ban.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said, "Our priority is to see Madiba get well. Therefore as the ANC, we have not even thought of visiting him in hospital because we are giving him and the hospital staff privacy."


At the same time, South Africans and tourists have been visiting Madiba's Houghton home in northern Johannesburg.

People have been writing messages of support on white rocks and placing them on the front lawns.

Madiba's 86-year-old neighbour Bernice Sussman has spoken fondly of Mandela, who joined her and her husband for a cup of tea, shortly before he fell ill.

"He's a neighbour, we all adore him. He came with his bodyguard; it was before he went to hospital. I love him."


Tourists and locals are also visiting Madiba's old house in Vilikazi Street, Soweto.

Mandela moved into the house in 1946 with his first wife Evelyn Ntoko Mase.

They moved in shortly after it was built.

After they divorced in 1957, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela moved in.

Several people have stopped outside the house, including a tourist from Norway.

"It's quite strange to be here and hearing that he's now in hospital. I wish him all the best. He's a great man for South Africa and he's also a very important person internationally," he said.