Revered worldwide as a beacon of peace, Nelson Mandela continues to recuperate in his hospital bed three days after being admitted for a lung infection.
South Africa’s first black president has been riddled with ailments since his tuberculosis in 1988. So far, he has suffered — and survived — prostate cancer treatment and stomach problems. His last illness prior to his recent hospitalization was pneumonia in April 2013.
Mandela, who turns 95 in July, still serves as an example of hope and peace not only for South Africans but to the entire world as well. Now, his fellow citizens are struggling to accept the fact that their beloved former president is at risk of mortality. Zindzi, Mandela’s daughter, continues to hold on to hope. “I’ve seen my father and he’s well. He’s a fighter,” she said.
But some are calling for Mandela’s own peace. The Sunday edition of the India Times even went as far as putting a declaration on its headline; “It’s time to let him go.” Andrew Mlangeni, a long-time friend of Mandela, expressed a similar sentiment. “We wish (Mandela) a speedy recovery, but I think what is important is that his family must release him,” Mlangeni said.
The government earlier issued a statement saying that the “father of the Rainbow Nation” was in serious condition, but is already stable and breathing independently.
Mandela’s last major public appearance was during the finals of the 2010 World Cup.