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Qunu children sing, pray for Mandela

Village leaders leave the house of former South African President Nelson Mandela in Qunu. School children from around the Eastern Cape sang and prayed for former president Nelson Mandela outside his home in Qunu. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

Village leaders leave the house of former South African President Nelson Mandela in Qunu. School children from around the Eastern Cape sang and prayed for former president Nelson Mandela outside his home in Qunu. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

Published Jun 26, 2013

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Qunu, Eastern Cape - School children from around the Eastern Cape sang and prayed for former president Nelson Mandela outside his home in Qunu on Wednesday afternoon.

The children, who are part of a programme run by the Nelson Mandela Leadership Institute, held a poster they had prepared for the 94-year-old former president, who is in a critical condition in a Pretoria hospital.

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“We always used to enjoy knowing that he was in the house when we came past,” said Nokuzula Tatane, a spokeswoman for the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu.

“We enjoyed sharing this space with him in Qunu. We miss him and we want him to come back.”

Tatane said the children were worried about Mandela and had wanted to come to the house to wish him well.

Qiniso van Damme, a facilitator for the programme, said the aim was to teach the children the values and ethics espoused by Mandela.

“Our programme runs different electives to bring talents out of the children,” she said.

“We try to teach the values and ethics that mirror Nelson Mandela's values. We decided to do a message for him because we are down the road. We really hope he gets better.”

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Members of Mandela's family met at the house on Tuesday.

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa, who attended the meeting with the Mandela elders, Mandela's eldest daughter Makaziwe Mandela, his grandson Mandla Mandela, and Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, said the purpose of the meeting was to brief the elders about Mandela's condition.

“With some family members living in Johannesburg and others in the Eastern Cape, it becomes important to make sure everyone is kept up to speed with the developments,” Holomisa told the Mail & Guardian newspaper's website.

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“One does not want to leave the elders behind.” - Sapa

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