Amid Vigil for Mandela, Friend Says, 'Let Him Go'

No official update on South African icon's condition
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2013 8:44 AM CDT
A worshipper prays beneath a stained glass panel, depicting Nelson Mandela inside the Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Soweto during morning mass, Sunday, June 9, 2013.   (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)
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(Newser) – A day after Nelson Mandela was admitted to the hospital in "serious condition," South Africans kept vigil and awaited news of the anti-apartheid icon, even as a Sunday Times headline blared, "It's Time to Let Him Go"—a quote from a longtime friend. A presidential spokesman tells CNN that he had no update on Mandela's condition, after he was quoted yesterday as saying doctors told him, "Be concerned, but don't be hysterical about it. Also don't tell the public that he is getting better [for now]."

Meanwhile, longtime friend Andrew Mlangeni has somber words, saying, "We wish Madiba a speedy recovery, but I think what is important is that his family must release him. Once the family releases him, the people of South Africa will follow. We will say thank you, God, you have given us this man, and we will release him, too."

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