June 12 - Residents of Nelson Mandela's hometown on South Africa's Eastern Cape say they're happy the anti-apartheid leader is responding well to treatment for a recurring lung infection, but are anxious too of what could happen if Mandela were to die. Mana Rabiee reports.
Humble beginnings for a man who would be President. Just outside Nelson Mandela's house in his hometown of Qunu , residents say they're happy the anti apartheid leader is responding well to treatment for a recurring lung infection that dates back to his days as a political prisoner. (SOUNDBITE) (Xhosa) MENZI SOYAYA, QUNU RESIDENT, SAYING "Obviously we would be very unhappy if he left us because he is a hero to us. We are here because of him." Happy -- but anxious, too, of what could happen if Mandela WERE to die. (SOUNDBITE) (Xhosa) LWANDO GWEDO, RESIDENT SAYING "He does a lot for us in Qunu. He got us electricity, gave us the roads. If he were to die it will be very difficult for us to get these things and we are scared that if he were to die, we risk going back to the dark days of apartheid." Mandela was in 'serious but stable' condition at a Pretoria hospital, after being admitted Saturday. It's his fourth hospital stay since December. And there is a growing realization across South Africa that the country will one day have to say goodbye to the man who did so much to pull them out of apartheid.