South Africans Remember Madiba On One Year Anniversary #Mandela

South Africans have started marking the first anniversary of the death of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, who died last year at the age of 95.

Official ceremonies to mark the passing of the former South African leader will include an interfaith prayer service early on Friday, followed by a wreath-laying commemoration by veterans of the anti-apartheid struggle, as well as a cricket match.

Bells, hooters, and traditional horns called vuvuzelas, will be sounded for three minutes and seven seconds, followed by three minutes of silence, combined to equal a six-minute and seven-second ceremony designed to symbolise Mandela’s 67 years of public service.

Many other events are due to take place over the weekend and beyond, including widespread artistic performances, as a way of remembering and celebrating the former president who led the country out of the apartheid era after enduring 27 years in prison.

Fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu called on South Africans to emulate Mandela’s example in a statement to mark the anniversary.

“Our obligation to Madiba is to continue to build the society he envisaged, to follow his example,” Tutu said, referring to Mandela by his clan name.

South Africa: Mandela Remains Critical – Zuma

Former president Nelson Mandela’s condition remains critical, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.

“Mandela remains in a critical condition in hospital and doctors are doing everything possible to ensure his well-being and comfort,” Zuma said in Johannesburg.

Zuma and deputy ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa visited Mandela at the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria on Sunday night.

“… I was told by the doctors, that Madiba’s health had changed in the past 24 hours and he was now critical,” Zuma said.

“They were doing everything… to make him feel comfortable.”

Mandela was asleep when Zuma visited.

“It was late when we got to the hospital and he was already asleep. We were there, looked at him, and we saw him,” he said.

“We had a discussion with the doctors and his [Mandela’s] wife, Graca Machel… and then we left.”

Zuma said he was not in a position to give further details.

Answering questions from reporters, Zuma said Mandela’s condition would not affect United States President Barack Obama’s planned visit to South Africa.

“If there was such a visit… and somebody fell sick, I don’t think we would stop the visit… So we [are] not going to stop because Madiba is sick,” Zuma said.

“So Obama is coming… ,” Zuma said.

Obama was due to arrive in South Africa on Friday.

In reply to another question about Mandela’s condition, Zuma reiterated: “I am not a doctor… when a person is critical, he is critical… I am not in a position to say how critical… .”

Mandela, 94, was admitted to hospital on June 8 for treatment of a recurring lung infection.

The briefing by Zuma was initially scheduled as an off-the-record editors’ briefing on the economy and youth, but evolved into a fully fledged press conference.