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Zuma cancels foreign trip after visiting Mandela

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-06-27 16:11

JOHANNESBURG - South African President Jacob Zuma had canceled his scheduled visit to Mozambique after visiting former president Nelson Mandela in hospital, the Presidency said Wednesday night.

"President Zuma visited Mandela in hospital in Pretoria on Wednesday evening around 22:00 and found him to be still in a critical condition," the Presidency said in a statement.

"President Zuma has decided to cancel his visit to Maputo, Mozambique on June 27, where he was due to attend a Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit regional infrastructure investment conference," it said, adding Zuma was briefed by Mandela's doctors on his condition.

"He reiterated his gratitude on behalf of government to all South Africans who continue to support Mandela," the Presidency said.

Mandela's family, including his daughters and grandchildren, continued visiting him in hospital Wednesday.

People continued to flock to the hospital to offer their wishes for a quick recovery.

About 20 children from a nearby day care center stood at the hospital gate and performed a poem, encouraging Mandela to hold on.

One of the two entrances to the hospital now resembles an art gallery full of balloons, flowers and get-well cards left by well-wishers.

Security has been tightened for those entering the hospital, and police manning the hospital gates were using detectors to check the undersides of cars before allowing them entry.

The former president spent his 18th day in hospital Wednesday amid reports that his family met at his rural home in Qunu on Tuesday to discuss sensitive matters around his health condition.

He was admitted to Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria on June 8 for a serious recurring lung infection.

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