Don’t create superficial Madiba image - Zuma

Zuma said people should not only remember Madiba as the first democratically elected president.

FILE: South African anti-apartheid leader and African National Congress (ANC) member Nelson Mandela waves to the press as he arrives at the Elysee Palace, 07 June 1990, in Paris, to have talks with French president Francois Mitterrand. Picture: AFP

PRETORIA/EAST LONDON - President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday released a statement calling on South Africans not to create a superficial image of former president Nelson Mandela.

He made the comments as members of the Mandela family visited the ailing 94-year-old statesman in hospital.

Madiba was admitted to the Pretoria Heart Hospital on Saturday for a recurring lung infection.

In his address to the National Assembly on Thursday, Zuma said Mandela needs to be remembered as part of the defiance campaign, commander and chief of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), and as a revolutionary and long-serving prisoner.

He said people should not only remember Madiba as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.

On Wednesday, Zuma told Members of Parliament's that Mandela was responding to treatment.

Some members of Madiba's family were spotted at the hospital on Thursday.

Journalists lined the streets outside the facility.

Concerns have been raised about the police's treatment of people at the facility.

This after a patient was allegedly manhandled by police because they thought he was a journalist.

At the same time, Cabinet said Mandela is receiving the best medical care available and called on the nation to continue respecting his privacy.

Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said, "Cabinet wishes Madiba a speedy recovery and reassures the nation he's receiving the best medical care."

He added Cabinet received a progress report on Mandela's condition during its regular fortnightly meeting in Cape Town.

"Cabinet is pleased he's responding well to treatment and reiterates to the media and the public to respect the privacy Madiba and his family."


Mandela was visited by his daughters Zenani and Zindzi.

Zindzi's two children, Zoleka and Zondwa, also visited their grandfather for about an hour.

Madiba mostly receives visitors in the afternoon.

His ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and current wife Gra├ža Machel also visited the facility during his hospitalisation.

Madiba's eldest grandson, Mandla, arrived in Johannesburg from the Eastern Cape on Wednesday.

He said his family was touched by the outpouring of support from the public.


The dean of the law faculty at the University Fort Hare says the institution regards itself as Nelson Mandela's academic home.

The faculty was formally named the "Nelson R Mandela School of Law" in 2002.

As a young student, Madiba began studying at the university's Alice Campus but was expelled for taking part in a student protest.

Professor Obeng Mireku smiles when he speaks about Mandela, recalling some of the stories which date back to the statesman's younger days.

"He had a very active student life. He realised that the opportunity that he had gotten to be admitted as a law student could be enhanced if he only he decided to seek social justice."