Presidency: Nation will be updated on Madiba

DAY 4: Nelson Mandela is receiving intensive care at a Pretoria hospital for a recurring lung infection.

FILE: Nelson Mandela in 1990. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - President Nelson Mandela is still receiving intensive care at a Pretoria medical facility on Tuesday after being admitted during the early hours of Saturday morning for a recurring lung infection.

The Presidency said Madiba was in a serious but stable condition and this had remained unchanged by Monday.

Spokesperson Mac Maharaj said President Jacob Zuma didn't want to take attention away from the ailing statesman and his visit to him would be discreet.

The Presidency maintains that updates will be given as doctors provide further information.

Meanwhile, The Mandela family on Monday declined to comment on reports that they have banned all hospital visitors except relatives.

It was claimed the crackdown on visitors came about because it was felt well-wishers were a distraction and there was a concern they might leak information to the media.

According to the reports, besides family, everyone else including government leaders and senior party officials have been banned from visiting the former president in hospital.

This is the fourth time since December that the 94-year-old statesman has been hospitalised.

Family members were spotted visiting the elderly statesman over the weekend.

Mandela's ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was also seen leaving the facility in a black BMW escorted by two blue-light vehicles.

She appeared unperturbed by the large amount of cameramen and journalists surrounding the cars.


Residents of the leafy suburb said it's not the same coming home knowing their famous neighbour isn't feeling well.

Several people have dropped off well wishes outside his house.

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

Madiba's 86-year-old neighbour Bernice Sussman spoke 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 before he went to hospital. I love him."

School children were also seen dropping off messages of support on the former president's front lawn.

Jordan Abrahams (9) said he hoped the 94-year-old statesman would be out of hospital in time for his birthday in July.

"I hope he gets better very soon and I hope he's better for his birthday."

Abrahams's younger brother Saul said he had a special birthday present he wanted to give to Madiba.

"I want to give him a mini iPad or a computer."


Tourists and locals were also visiting Madiba's old house in Vilikazi Street.

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

They moved in shortly after it was built.

After their divorce in 1957, 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.

The Presidency also called on South Africans and the world to keep Madiba in their thoughts and prayers.