Madiba: Zuma to visit again

The global icon's condition has stabilised but he still remains on life support.

President Nelson Mandela on 20 March 1992. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma is expected to make a third visit to the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in as many days to assess Nelson Mandela's health.

With Nelson Mandela's condition improving slightly, government has appealed to the public to respect his family's wishes.

The Mandela family has repeatedly requested relatives and the former president's right to privacy be respected.

Madiba is still on life support at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria.

MANDELA'S HEALTH IMPROVING

The Presidency announced on Sunday he was in a critical condition, but on Thursday said he had been stabilised.

In a statement released on Thursday, President Jacob Zuma said the iconic leader was doing much better.

"The medical team continues to do a sterling job. We must pray for Tata's health and wish him well. We must also continue with our work and with daily activities while Madiba remains hospitalised."

The Presidency also said it was disturbed by rumours about Mandela's health and appealed for his dignity and privacy to be respected.

This is Mandela's fourth hospitalisation since December.

To view Zuma's full statement, click here.

ANC GATHER OUTSIDE HOSPITAL

On Thursday, hundreds of ANC members gathered outside the hospital.

The group, who were singing struggle songs in Madiba's honour, said it is now time for South Africans to unite.

Members left the hospital at around 7pm.

The crowd then boarded buses and made their way to the Pretoria Museum to pray for the country's first democratically elected president.

The crowd says it will continue to hold a vigil for Mandela.

'IN GOD"S HANDS NOW'

Leaders of various religious organisations have prayed that God will prevail with the life of the icon.

The leaders, who represent an assortment of churches and religious backgrounds, gathered at Soweto' s Grace Bible Church on Thursday afternoon to pray for Mandela and his family.

Bishop Mosa Sono of the Grace Bible Church says the former stateman's life is in God's hands.

"Whatever comes we know that God will strengthen them and they [Mandela family] that their pain is felt by everyone."

HOUGHTON SUPPORT

Visitors at Madiba's Houghton home have described him as an iconic human being who brought South Africa out of the darkness.

Thursday saw visitors from all over the country drop by his home to drop off all kinds of tributes.

From colourful flags to personalised letters to decorated potted plants, the tributes filled Madiba's lawn.

Young and old say they're praying for the ailing statesman and they hope he recovers from his illness.

"We're here to wish Madiba all the best in his recovery and if he goes then we release him and appreciate all that he's done."