Surgeon General Vejaynand Ramlakan said Mandela, 92, was still receiving care at home after being discharged from hospital Friday following treatment for an acute respiratory infection. “This morning the medical team looking after the former president has reported that he has had a restful and peaceful night,” Ramlakan said in a statement. “He continues to be visited by close family and relatives. The close monitoring and 24-hour care from team of specialist continues.” Mandela’s two-day stay in Johannesburg’s Milpark Hospital had the world on edge over the health of one of its most beloved icons. South African President Jacob Zuma thanked well-wishers around the world Sunday for sending messages of support for Mandela. “We truly appreciate the support and good wishes we received when he was in hospital this week,” said Zuma, who is in Ethiopia for an African Union summit. “The South African people, black and white, love President Mandela. This fearless freedom fighter… taught us the importance of unity, forgiveness and reconciliation. He is also loved by millions of people in Africa and the world,” Zuma added. “We wish him a long life and good health, as he continues to age with dignity and inspire all of us to strive to be better people each day.”
South Africans prayed for Mandela at church services around the country Sunday, while a national campaign promoted by a group of media organisations encouraged people to “Light a Candle of Hope” for his recovery. At the Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Soweto, the township where Mandela lived before being jailed by the apartheid state, provincial premier Nomvula Mokonyane led a candle-lighting ceremony and thanked Madiba — the clan name by which Mandela is affectionately known — for his sacrifices for the country. “We now pray that Madiba lives for another moment. We pray that God blesses the hands of those who are looking after him,” she said. “Thank you Madiba for sacrificing your life for us.”
At Rosebank Union Church, several kilometres from Mandela’s Johannesburg home, Pastor Ndaba Mazabane also prayed for Mandela’s health and praised his role in reconciling South Africans after the fall of white-minority rule. “We thank God that through his leadership, here is a man who was incarcerated for 27 years in prison… but (sought) to unify the nation for a common good and a common vision of building a united, non-racial South Africa,” Mazabane said.
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