Minister: ‘Madiba opens eyes, nods’

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Former president Nelson Mandela is well and responsive, according to Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. She visited him on Thursday, and says he “opens his eyes and nods as if to say: I’m here with you and appreciate what you are doing”.  The Minister praised the doctors treating Mandela for the work they had done so far.  “We never knew that on this day Madiba would be looking at us and be smiling and alert.”

Earlier, as ex-president Nelson Mandela turned 95, there were other upbeat accounts of his condition.  News 24 reported  Zindzi Mandela told Sky News  her father was making “remarkable progress” and was even able to watch television.  Zindzi said she visited Madiba on Tuesday and “saw him watching TV with his headphones.”  “You can see he is there in his eyes, the same energy and strength,” she said, “and hopes   “he will be released soon.  He gave us a huge smile, and he responds very well…with his eyes, and he nods and sometimes he lifts his hand like to shake your hand.”

“There was a time that we were all extremely anxious and worried, and we were prepared for the worst. But he continues to amaze us every day.”

This was followed by a statement from the presidency which said that the elder statesman’s health was steadily improving.  His ex wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela stated she wanted to assure the country and the caring world “on this very special day” that Mandela’s legacy would continue as it always had done.

Meanwhile, Mandela’s birthday is being marked worldwide. For more on Madiba’s birthday go to eHowz!t’s South African and International news sections.


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