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Well-wishers continue to pray for Mandela in South Africa


08:10, July 01, 2013

PRETORIA, June 30 (Xinhua) -- People from all walks of life and nationalities continued to stream to Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa on Sunday, wishing former president Nelson Mandela a quick recovery.

Mandela has remained in that hospital since June 8, where he is being treated for a recurring lunch infection.

On Saturday South African President Jacob Zuma told the visiting U. S. President Barack Obama that Mandela's condition remained critical but that he hoped he would soon recover and return home.

On Sunday people gathered at the entrance of the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital, singing and praying for Mandela's recovery.

Amadi, a Nigerian national who brought along members of his organization called All Nationals of Nigeria in Diaspora. "We are here to pray for Mandela and wish him a fast recovery," said he.

"Mandela is an icon. He is the pillar of Africa, we wish him to live for many more years," said Amadi.

Some parents have even resorted to bringing their children to say their well wishes to the 94-year-old man.

"I hope Mandela gets very well soon," said 6-year-old Bokang who was with his mother.

The whole atmosphere around the hospital was filled with music and prayers on Sunday.

Groups from different religions sang and prayed for Mandela.

Queen Sekgopo, a traditional leader described Mandela as a pillar of strength. "I am here to pray for Madiba (Mandela's nickname), wishing him well," he said.

29-year-old Lydia Magwela's wish was for Madiba to hold on and live for a few more years. He said: "I pray for Madiba always at home, in church and even when I sleep at night. I wish that he gets better."

"South Africa is what it is today because of Mandela, that is why we still need him," added he.

Those who came as individuals on Sunday had their innovative ways of expressing their well wishes for the world icon. They used post cards, hand-made cards, pieces of paper, old boxes, balloons and any other material on which they could write a little message for Madiba.

Some balloons were written, "Wish you well", while some read, "Crazy for you Mandela."

The majority of the messages were written on improvised hand- made post cards and pieces of paper. One piece of paper was written, "Get well soon, daddy."

Another big poster from a group of young children was written, "We love you Mandela, get well."

With a lot of people visiting the hospital on Sunday, journalists were the busiest of all at the venue. They lined up beside the streets with their cameras, interviewing people, filming and taking photographs.

Dozens of outside-broadcasting vehicles camped, giving constant updates to viewers and listeners.

The police were busy trying to keep the large crowds of people in order while searching all cars and individuals entering the hospital.

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