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Passers-by curious about Mandela’s health

Well-wishers arrive with banners outside a Pretoria hospital where former President Nelson Mandela is being treated. Photo: Reuters

Well-wishers arrive with banners outside a Pretoria hospital where former President Nelson Mandela is being treated. Photo: Reuters

Published Jun 26, 2013

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Pretoria - Pretoria residents asked about the health of former president Nelson Mandela on Wednesday while walking past the hospital where he remains critically ill.

Scores of people stood near a Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital entrance, next to a gallery of get-well messages, presents and flowers for the elder statesman.

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University student Hamington Nyamhuno said it had become his custom to pass the facility before starting his lessons.

“I now leave my flat earlier. I feel like I have to come to this place and ask for updates. Everyone wants to know how Madiba is doing,” he said.

“At varsity, we always talk about Mandela and his legacy. He is a global icon”.

Some pedestrians took turns photographing each other against the backdrop of balloons, flags, posters and floral tributes to Mandela on the hospital's security wall.

The celebrated anti-apartheid icon was admitted to the facility early on June 8 for a recurring lung infection.

Another well-wisher, Brenda Sema, said even her five-year-old son Kevin was curious about Madiba's health.

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“We watch the news together every day. Before I take him to creche, we come here (at the hospital) and feel closer to Madiba,” she said.

“Dearest Madiba. Thank you for everything you have done for our country. You are and will always be a true legend and a grandfather to all. From Alphonso Tania,” read a card attached to a white teddy bear. - Sapa

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