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Gigaba pays tribute to Madiba

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba and other ANC leaders attended a prayer service for Madiba.

A screengrab of Former President Nelson Mandela, taken from CNN. Picture: CNN

JOHANNESBURG - Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba on Sunday said former president Nelson Mandela was living proof that South Africans from rural areas could become global icons.

The minister was speaking at an ANC Youth League prayer service for Madiba at the Change Bible Church in Katlehong earlier.

The statesman is entering his fifth week in the Mediclinic Heart Hospital, where he is being treated for a recurring lung infection.

Members of the church lit candles earlier to honour the ailing former president.

Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula were among the ANC officials in attendance at the prayer service.

Gigaba addressed the congregation.

"When we tell the children of our children that we were born and we lived in the time of Mandela, they will envy us."

The ruling party urged the country to continue praying for Madiba who remains in a critical but stable condition.

Earlier, Pastor Xola Nzo called on South Africans to carry on praying for Madiba.

"Prayer is a beautiful thing. A word of support is a beautiful thing. A message of love to Tata is a beautiful thing. A message saying get well soon is a beautiful thing."

This is Madiba's fourth hospitalisation since December.

At the same time, the Mandela family has encouraged South Africans to take part in Mandela Day on 18 July by doing something positive for their communities.

The day will mark Madiba's 95th birthday.

The day is celebrated internationally.