A mood of urgency about Nelson Mandela's deteriorating health has been compounded by a series of hospital stays in recent months.
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South AfricaJessica Williams's insight:
Need to Know- NTK
P- legacy of a former prisoner who became so revered for his efforts to reconcile a racially divided nation
S- many South Africans cannot bring themselves to speak openly about the possibility of his death
S- the 94-year-old receives treatment for a recurring lung infection, spending a fourth day in a Pretoria hospital
S- The description of Mandela as "ravaged by time," in a statement from a foundation led by retired archbishop Desmond Tutu and his wife, speaks to the fragile state of a man who is so mighty in stature
S- his deteriorating health that has been shown by a series of hospital stays in recent months
NTK-"He was a very fruitful fighter, but he's only human," said Thabiso Masemola, a 21-year-old student. "He's reached a point in life where he needs to rest. Let him go, let him be. He's finished his purpose in life."
E- became the first black president in all-race elections in 1994
S-Such a view is gaining currency as South Africans become uneasy with the protracted decline of Mandela, who endured 27 years in prison during white minority rule
S- Mzinkosi Tantsi, a driver for a neighbor of Mandela in the Johannesburg neighborhood of Houghton, said it had been a "blessing" to shake the former president's hand
S-"I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.