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Winnie’s shortest Madiba hospital visit

Former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela arrives at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria. Picture: Ben Curtis/AP

Former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela arrives at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria. Picture: Ben Curtis/AP

Published Jun 26, 2013

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 Pretoria - Nelson Mandela's ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela left the Pretoria hospital where the former president remains critically ill on Wednesday.

 Madikizela-Mandela left about an hour after she arrived. This was her shortest visit since the presidency announced the former anti-apartheid icon's condition deteriorated on Sunday evening.

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 Daughters Makaziwe Mandela and Zindzi Mandela also left the facility, along with grandchildren Ndaba Mandela and Ndileka Mandela.

 Earlier in the day, about 20 children from the Thanduxolo Day Care centre arrived at the hospital's Celliers Street entrance to put up their hand-made card and recite a poem.

 Part of the poem translates from Zulu as "Hold on old man".

 Julia Masango, a woman who works at a nearby supermarket, came to show support for her long-time icon.

 "I am very sad that he is sick. He must get better or the gods must release him," she said.

 More police officers were manning the hospital's entrances and using mirrors to inspect the undersides of cars entering the premises.

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 Tshwane metro police officers cordoned off Celliers Street, only letting in cars of journalists and those of people living in the area.

 The country's former surgeon general, Dr Vejay Ramlakan, arrived at the hospital earlier on Wednesday. He stepped down earlier this year.

 The presidency said on Tuesday that Mandela remained in a critical condition.

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 "(Mandela's) condition remains unchanged in hospital, and doctors continue to do their best to ensure his recovery, well-being and comfort," spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement. -Sapa

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