by Simone Cadwell

Tata Madiba

Mandela's health continues to be of grave concern

Wishing you a speedy recovery
Nelson Mandela

Johannesburg residents gathered at the Regina Mundi Catholic church in Soweto, to offer prayers for the leader. The church was a centre of anti-apartheid protests and funerals.

It is a global consensus that the leader is among the greatest of all times. Many regard him as the father of the country, known for his kind heartedness and courage. He is a true icon of integrity and magnanimity amid the nation's messy politics. 

In February, Mandela spent a night in a hospital for a minor diagnostic surgery to determine the cause of an abdominal complaint. In January 2011, however, Mandela was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for what officials initially described as tests but what turned out to be an acute respiratory infection. He was discharged days later.

Each hospital trip raises the same worries about the increasingly frail former leader of the African National Congress — that the man who helped bring the nation together is slowly fading away.

Nelson Mandela is being treated for a lung infection, and is responding to the treatment, the Presidency said in an update on the former president's health on Tuesday. "Doctors have concluded the tests, and these have revealed a recurrence of a previous lung infection, for which Madiba is receiving appropriate treatment, and he is responding to the treatment".

While Zuma's statement offered no further details about who would provide medical attention for Mandela, the nation's military has taken over caring for the aging leader since the 2011 respiratory infection. At 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria on Saturday night, the facility that previously cared for Mandela in February, everything appeared calm, without any additional security present.

Mandela's hospitalisation comes just days after the crash of a military aircraft flying on an unknown mission near Mandela's rural home in which all 11 onboard were killed.

The plane was flying to a military air base in Mthatha, which is about 30 kilometres north of Qunu. Military officials declined to say whether those on board had any part in caring for Mandela.

From all of us at the Ubuntu Magazine and Cape Media Corporation,  we wish you well, dear Madiba. May you have a speedy recovery.

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