Relatives of ailing former President of South Africa, Dr. Nelson Mandela have continued to visit what is believed to be his family grave-site even as the South African leader who rescued the nation from apartheid remained in critical condition
Mandela’s grandson, Ndaba, was seen at what is believed to be his grandfather’s grave-site in Qunu in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday, City Press tweeted.
More relatives have reportedly visited the grave-site in Qunu where all deceased members of the Mandela family have been buried. The site is situated a few metres from Mandela’s younger brother Morris’s house, and just across the street from Madiba’s Qunu home.
In Xhosa custom, a family member could visit grave-site when they sense that a member might soon join the ancestors, or to speak to the ancestors to spare them for a while.
As well wishers continue to prayer for the survival of the Icon of African politics, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa had repeatedly assured that Mandela, fondly called Madiba was alive but in critical condition. He told a media gathering earlier that doctors have assured him that they will give him the best medical attention.
No family members were seen at the hospital on Tuesday. His only visitors were his medical team, who arrived shortly after 8:00 a.m. Napilisi Mandela, an elder in the Mandela family, confirmed that the meeting would go ahead as planned and was called to discuss delicate matters pertaining to the anti-apartheid icon. Another close relative, Silumko Mandela, said final arrangements for the meeting were still being made.
“Many of us in the village were not aware and we were only told this morning, so a number of Mandela elders still need to be transported to Qunu for the meeting,” said Silumko Mandela.
Two dove breeders from Johannesburg released about 100 doves outside the hospital in an apparent plea for peace in South Africa once Mandela dies. One of the breeders, Thomas Coutts, told the Mail & Guardian the doves also symbolised South Africa’s affection for Mandela.
“He gave us our freedom and peace. We pray for peace and prosperity even after he dies. This is our way of showing our gratitude to him,” Coutts explained to local media.