“We wish him well. We are calling on the world to unite and pray for Madiba,” said 24-year-old Innocentia Moselane, using Mandela’s traditional clan name. “He is our icon, and we love him.”
“He is our hero. He is my mentor, my father. He is everything to me,” 36-year-old Kuda Nyahumzvi told CNN outside the hospital. “But when it is his time, we wish his soul could just rest. He spent so long in jail and struggling.”
Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel, spends every night at the hospital, where the former president has been admitted since June 8 for a recurring lung infection. Previously, doctors had described his condition as serious but stable. But over the weekend, his health took a turn for the worse, and he was in critical condition since then.
“The doctors are doing everything possible to ensure his well-being and comfort,” President Jacob Zuma told the nation Monday.