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Graca Machel thanks public for support

Nelson Mandela's wife spoke of the love and generosity from around the world.

Former South African president and Nobel peace prize laureate Nelson Mandela (L) is aided by his wife, Graca Machel (R) prior to the inauguration ceremony for President elect, Jacob Zuma, held at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, on May 9, 2009. AFP PHOTO/POOL/KIM LUDBROOK

PRETORIA - Former President Nelson Mandela's wife Graca Machel has on Monday released a statement thanking the public for their support.

In the statement Machel spoke of the love and generosity not only from South Africans, but from around the world.

"[The love and generosity has] come our way to lighten the burden of anxiety; bringing us love, comfort and hope."

She added that the messages came in the form of all types of communication technology (letters, sms, email, twitter and the human voice).

Machel said voices of children in schools or singing outside their home made her feel the closeness of the world.

"Our gratitude is difficult to express but the love and peace we feel give yet more life to the simple 'Thank you!'"

The 94-year-old's wife was due to appear at a hunger summit in London last week but cancelled to be at her husband's side.

Meanwhile, Mandela's ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandel has also been at Madiba's side since last week at the Pretoria hospital.

Machel also quoted Mandela as saying, "What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made in the lives of others."

Mandela is in hospital for a recurring lung infection.

His condition has been described as serious, but stable.

To read the full statement from Graca Machel click here.

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