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Elders head to PTA for Madiba

Chief Mfundo Mtirara chatted briefly to reporters at Mthatha Airport on Wednesday.

Chief Mfundo Mtirara at Mthatha Airport seen here with Rahima Essop from EWN. Picture:Renée de Villiers/EWN

QUNU - Former President Nelson Mandela is expected to receive more visitors at the MediClinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria on Wednesday afternoon.

The Presidency says Madiba's condition remains critical, nineteen days into his treatment for a recurring lung infection, and has urged the nation to keep praying for the statesman.

Chief Mfundo Mtirara of the AbaThembu clan was seen at the Mthatha airport earlier in the morning.

He said the family meeting at Madiba's home in Qunu, which was attended by members of the Mandela family, was strictly confidential.

Mtirara did however confirm that Bantu Holomisa, Madiba's grandson Mandla and other family members attended the meeting.

The chief is believed to be among a group of elders who will assess Mandela's condition in hospital.

Mtirara was dismissive of media reports and was uncomfortable answering journalists' questions about Madiba's health, saying he was heading to Gauteng for business.

Meanwhile, activity around the area believed to be the Mandela gravesite has fuelled speculation about the purpose of the meeting, with reports suggesting the family also discussed moving family graves from Qunu to Mvezo in 2011.

The graves of three of Mandela's children were apparently moved by his eldest grandson Chief Mandla without consulting other family members.