The world’s greatest statesman, Nelson Mandela, died. Rest in peace Mr President.
An evening visit to the designated gravesite of Nelson Mandela, prayers for forgiveness to the ancestral forefathers and the tribal elders travelling to Pretoria to be with South Africa’s greatest hero is just some of the drama surrounding Nelson Mandela’s imminent passing.
The gravesite is situated about 500 metres from Mandela’s Qunu residence and is reserved for the Mandela family.
It has been reported that elders in the Mandela family visited the family gravesite in Qunu, on Tuesday evening, to plead for forgiveness from their ancestors for exhuming the bodies of family members in 2011 by Mandla – the favourite grandson. It is tribal custom that gravesites are either visited early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
The elders are furious with former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson Mandla for digging up the remains of his father Makgatho and his father’s two siblings, Makaziwe and Thembekile, and moving them to Mandela’s birthplace Mvezo. The elders have advised the family that “the Mandelas are being punished through making their beloved son (Nelson Mandela) suffer in hospital where he remains in great pain and anguish”. The elders visited the gravesite to plead for their ancestral forefather’s forgiveness and to seek advice as what to do during this difficult time.
The elders in the Mandela family have attributed Mandela’s ill health and constant hospitalization for a lung infection to the “wrath of the ancestors”.
The “wrath” was caused by the fact that Mandla Mandela, the Mvezo chief, removed the remains without consulting anyone.
Elders with knowledge of AbaThembu traditions and customs told the family that this had angered the forefathers which resulted in a curse being put on the Mandela family, by the ancestors.
City Press reported that after the meeting it was decided that elders – men only – should visit the gravesite to appeal to the ancestors to spare Mandela from suffering. Mandla did not go to the family gravesite where the elders had gone to plead with the ancestors.
It was decided at the gravesite that a delegation would visit Mandela in hospital.
“I will be going to see Tata (Father) in hospital. He cannot be alone at this hour of need. He needs AbaThembu and his family next to him,” Mtirara, an elder, said.
South Africa has such a diverse society. One of the greatest problems that face the nation in their religious walk, whatever that may be, is that the tribes revert to their dead for advice in the time of a crisis. On Sundays people will attend church and praise and worship God for hours. Six days a week, they will consult the forefathers or their spokesmen, if they have a crisis…
Superstition and witchcraft is rife in South Africa. Witchdoctors or Traditional Healers is acknowledged as a profession ….some medical aids even pay for their services. Companies have to accept a “sick note” from a Traditional Healer, who has no formal medical training.
Outside the Heart Hospital in Pretoria thousands of people have gathered singing hymns and burning candles in prayer for our beloved Madiba. Elsewhere the bones are being cast and rituals to appease the forefathers are being performed.
In the words of Mandla Mandela “At the end of the day, my grandfather’s fate, like that of everyone else, lies with God and our ancestors”
The prayer/request is the same. “Please end Madiba’s suffering. Allow him to die the way he lived…..with dignity.”
“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom: Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
“When someone is dying, everyone has to wait. It takes time. All of us have a different timetable. Some wait mere hours. Some drag on for days, others, weeks. It is a lesson in patience.” Uma Girish – http://grammarofgrief.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/being-with-the-dying/
Today, in South Africa, Gracia Machel, is sitting vigil next to her beloved husband’s bed. I have no doubt that she is holding his hand, waiting, praying… Maybe she too feels that the time has come for Madiba to keep his head pointed to the sun and his feet moving forward to eternal peace and rest.
I wonder whether Madiba fears death? I have no doubt that he has fears for his family, his country… He once said “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
In this morning Sunday Times Newspaper the headline was “It’s Time to let him go”. http://www.timeslive.co.za/sundaytimes/ It is an appeal by Andrew Mlangeni, a longtime friend of Nelson Mandela, to his family. No doubt it will be controversial and elicit a lot of discussion and criticism.
I agree with Andrew Mlangeni, it is time to let Madiba go… There can be very little joy in his life. This man has suffered so much in his life – it is time for his suffering to come to an end.
Spokesperson Mac Maharaj said Mandela’s situation was serious but stable.
Maharaj told eNCA on Saturday that doctors had confirmed Mandela was breathing on his own.
“That is a good sign, I think,” Maharaj said.
“This morning at about 1.30am his condition deteriorated and he was transferred to a Pretoria hospital,” presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement.
“He remains in a serious but stable condition.”
Maharaj said doctors were doing everything they could to make Mandela “better and comfortable”.
“President Jacob Zuma, on behalf ofgovernment and the nation, wishes Madiba a speedy recovery and requests the media and the public to respect the privacy of Madiba and his family,” Maharaj said.
Mandela’s wife, Graca Machel, has been by his side since being admitted tohospital.
On April 6, Mandela was discharged fromhospital after spending nine days receiving treatment for a recurring lung infection. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has suffered lung ailments before and has been in and out ofhospital.
Regular hospital stays
Early in March, he was admitted to a Pretoria hospital for a scheduled check-up and was discharged the following day.In December last year, Mandela underwent an operation to remove gallstones and treat the recurring lung infection. He was discharged after an 18-day stay and placed under home-based high care at his Houghton home in Johannesburg.
In January, the presidency said Mandela had made a full recovery from surgery and continued to improve. In February last year he was admitted tohospital for a stomach ailment.
At the time, the presidency said Mandela underwent a diagnostic procedure to investigate the cause of a long-standing abdominal complaint.
In January 2011, Mandela was taken to Milpark Hospital for routine tests relating to respiratory problems.
Since then he had spent his time between Johannesburg and his ancestral village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape. http://www.iol.co.za/news/special-features/nelson-mandela/well-wishes-for-madiba
When the world’s greatest statesman is admitted to a hospital at 1.30 in the morning he is very ill… If his wife has not left his bedside – he is very ill… If the doctors are making him comfortable – he is very ill…
Nelson Mandela has a world-class medical team with world-class equipment in his Houghton home… For him to be admitted to a hospital in the early hours of the morning says it all…
I love and admire Nelson Mandela. I pray that his suffering will end. I pray for stability in my country when he dies. I pray that the lessons he taught the world will be remembered. I pray that his children and the country will bring honour to his legacy after his passing…
I think an icon’s death may be imminent.
Love you Madiba!