Security tightened at Madiba hospital

Police have been deployed to the entrances where they’re searching vehicles entering the facility.

Security has been beefed up at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria where Nelson Mandela is being treated. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN

EWN's Barry Bateman reports via Google Hangouts from outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria.

PRETORIA/JOHANNESBURG - Police are on Tuesday morning keeping a close eye on the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria where former President Nelson Mandela is believed to be receiving treatment.

Madiba was admitted during the early hours of Saturday morning with a recurring lung infection.

In his last update, Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said Madiba was in a serious but stable condition.

Outside the hospital police have been deployed to all entrances and are searching vehicles entering the facility.

Barrier tape has been erected along the pavement at the main entrance to ensure the media stay across the road.

The measure was introduced on Monday following a scuffle between a photographer and a security guard after Winnie Madikizela-Mandela arrived for a visit.

However, concern is mounting over the health of the former statesman following reports from an international broadcaster that his health is worse than what is officially being stated.

EWN's Mandy Wiener reports via Google Hangouts from outside Nelson Mandela's house in Houghton:


At the same time, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said he's praying for the 94-year-old statesman.

Via a statement, the world renowned cleric said he's praying for Madiba's dignity and comfort.

Among the thousands who've wished him good health are members of the sporting fraternity.

Former CEO of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee Danny Jordaan said Mandela's hospitalisation is a difficult time for many South Africans.

"Our prayers are with Mandela that he will walk out of that hospital, but we also recognise that he will soon turn 95."


Meanwhile, Hollywood stars are keeping Madiba in their thoughts and the cast of the new Superman movie took to the black carpet for the film's world premiere in New York on Monday.

The former statesman is regarded as somewhat of a superhero of championing human rights, and for that, Oscar winning star Kevin Costner said Mandela is a true hero.

"He stood up like Superman and paid a terrible price. He was true to himself and he's felt the love wherever he's gone in the world."

The film's Laurence Fishburne said he hasn't met Madiba but still holds him in high esteem.

"I was in Atlanta when he made his first appearance in the US after he was released from prison, but I didn't see him, he's been an inspirational figure in my life."

Meanwhile, other celebrities have also taken to twitter to voice their support:


Meanwhile, scores of visitors have been dropping of flowers and cards on the front lawn of Madiba's Houghton property.

There was no sign of increased security as only one Johannesburg Metro Police Department officer could be seen managing the flow of traffic.

A Nigerian tourist who said the first thing she did after arriving in South Africa was to try and visit Mandela's family to offer support.

"I'm on holiday and how can I not visit Mandela's home? So I am here to wish him well."


Some tourists who were visiting Madiba's old Vilakazi home in Orlando West, Soweto said they were saddened to hear about his hospitalisation.

"We hope his health improves because he's an international hero and we love him."

There's widespread concern and anxiety as the nation and world waits for another update from the Presidency.

(Edited & Compiled by Abed Ahmed)