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Doves released an Mandela hospital

Television news crews and journalists camp out on the corner from where the residence of former president Nelson Mandela is situated in Houghton, Johannesburg on Tuesday, 25 June 2013. Mandela, who was admitted to hospital over two weeks ago, is in a critical condition. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Television news crews and journalists camp out on the corner from where the residence of former president Nelson Mandela is situated in Houghton, Johannesburg on Tuesday, 25 June 2013. Mandela, who was admitted to hospital over two weeks ago, is in a critical condition. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Published Jun 25, 2013

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Pretoria - White doves were released at the Pretoria hospital where former president Nelson Mandela remained in a critical condition on Tuesday.

Businessman Calvern Hugo released about 60 birds near the Celliers Street entrance, in recognition of Mandela's contribution to the country's freedom.

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“It was a few minutes of sacrifice that we took out of our busy schedules to say thank you for the sacrifices he took for the nation as a whole,” Hugo said.

“We are really appreciative of what you have done for us as a nation. What you have done will echo throughout the generations to come.”

Journalists, members of the public, and hospital staff came to look as Hugo released the birds.

The gesture took place near the wall that has been adorned with pink and red flowers, balloons, and many handmade get-well cards.

Meanwhile, some Mandela family members arrived at the hospital. Just before 10.30am, a black Jeep was let into the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital's Park Street entrance without being searched.

Cars with military registration plates and those carrying Mandela family members, politicians, and government officials were the only vehicles allowed onto the premises without first being searched.

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The hospital's security guards and police officers were at the main entrances. - Sapa

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