The ANC Youth League wished former president Nelson Mandela a speedy recovery and a happy birthday.
Members of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) ANCYL branch today marched to the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital’s Celliers Street entrance singing “Hello Mandela” in Setswana and erected a banner with get-well soon messages.
“We thought this is a great opportunity to come here and embrace our leader because he has liberated us. We came here just to pledge (our support), since tomorrow will be (busy),” branch spokesperson Lethukthula Mazibuko said.
Around the hospital in Pretoria, posters proclaiming “your life remains our inspiration” were placed on lampposts.
The posters sported the emblems of the African National Congress, the SA Communist Party, and the Congress of SA Trade Unions.
Earlier in the day, an abaThembu royal council representative paid a brief visit to the hospital where Mandela is being treated for a recurring lung infection.
Nkosi Vulukhanyo Fadana, a spokesman for the royal house, urged South Africans to do their bit on Mandela Day tomorrow.
He met the Mandela family and addressed the media outside the facility’s Park Street entrance.
Fadana was en route to the Eastern Cape for celebrations in Mvezo and surrounding areas, and to report to King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo on Mandela’s condition.
“I spoke to Ndileka, Makaziwe, and Mam’ Graça, and Mandela is still alive and in a stable condition.”
He said members of the Mandela family were preparing for a gathering at the hospital for the anti-apartheid icon’s 95th birthday.
“Makaziwe said there will be a lunch here with family and others tomorrow.”
Mandela’s daughter Makaziwe Mandela, his wife Graça Machel, and granddaughter Ndileka Mandela were at the private facility for their regular visit today.
Some members of the Mandela family were expected to pledge their 67 minutes at various organisations in and around Pretoria tomorrow.
The Being Mandela reality show stars Zamaswazi Dlamini and Zaziwe Mandela, who are grandchildren of the icon, took to social media to announce they would be at a school for their Mandela Day pledge.
“@beingmandela: N’wa Mhinga Primary School Atteridgeville, Pretoria Thursday July 18, 11am #67minutes,” they posted on Twitter.
Mandela’s daughter Zindzi Mandela was expected to do her bit at Lesedi Primary School in Soshanguve, north of the city.
Activity outside the hospital was subdued, with fewer passers-by stopping by a wall of well-wishes to leave messages and pose for pictures.
Tshwane metro police cordoned-off Celliers Street, restricting traffic to residents, hospital visitors, and media vehicles.
Police at both entry points searched cars entering the premises.
Outside broadcast vehicles remained parked on the Celliers Street pavement, and a handful of reporters were doing live crossings.
Mandela is spending his 40th day in hospital.
In its last update on his condition, the presidency said he was responding to treatment and still in a critical but stable condition.
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