Qunu recalls Madiba moments

Qunu residents have shared their fond memories of the ailing former president Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela museum in Qunu. Picture:Renee de Villiers/EWN

QUNU - In Nelson Mandela's village of Qunu, locals have shared their fond Madiba moments and messages of support as he lies critically ill in hospital.

Mandela grew up in Qunu in the Eastern Cape and has described it as the happiest moments of his childhood.

Amanda Titani gushes when she talks about the 94-year-old, her hero.

She recalls the first time she shook his hand.

"He was taking a walk. He shook hands when he greeted all the people of Qunu. I also got a chance to shake his hand. It felt great."

Her relative Zanele recalled how Madiba used to distribute Christmas gifts for children in the village.

"Most people went there and they got presents. They got everything from Mandela."

The Titani's say they are grateful for everything the statesman has done for locals in Qunu.

Meanwhile, according to the Presidency's last update, Madiba's condition remains critical but stable.

This is his fourth hospitalisation since December.

He was admitted to the Mediclinic Heart Hospital for a reoccurring lung infection on 8 June.


Mandela's hospitalisation has inspired ordinary South Africans to preserve his legacy and in Marikana, where several people have been murdered in recent weeks, miners say they want to keep the peace for Madiba's sake.

A poster with about 4,500 signatures from Lonmin miners in Marikana was dropped off at the wall of support on Saturday by a small group of miners who also held a prayer service for the global icon.

They were some of many visitors at the Pretoria facility which included Speaker of Parliament Max Sisulu and Chairman of the National Council of Provinces Mninawa Mahlangu.

The signatures from Lonmin employees were dropped off by about 15 miners, dressed in formalwear, who sang songs and prayed for Madiba.

Amongst them was Govastone Ngwala, who said the miners were inspired by Madiba's commitment to reconciliation.

"We wish other people could follow in Madiba's footsteps. No revenge. No fighting. We pray to God to change our hearts and minds."

Senior parliamentary officials were some of the first visitors Madiba received on Saturday. They were followed by his family members who stayed for few hours.

Meanwhile, at the hospital's main gate, security remains tight as hundreds of people arrive to drop off flowers and well-wishes.