June 27 - South Africans praying for 94-year-old Nelson Mandela say they are also preparing to bid him goodbye after an announcement his health has deteriorated yet again. Jessica Gray reports.
South Africans sing for Nelson Mandela. Many were preparing to say goodbye to the country's first black president following an announcement his condition had yet again deteriorated. The declaration prompted President Jacob Zuma to cancel an upcoming trip to neighbouring Mozambique. Residents of Pretoria on Thursday said although they had been praying for Mandela's recovery, they understood it might be time for him to let go. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LOCAL RESIDENT, MERCURY MELATO, SAYING: "We really do understand the condition that he is at now and we just want to say to him that if the time has come for him to rest that it's all fine and we understand, he doesn't need to fight any more, he has already done so much you know, we can't really begin to explain the gratitude." Nelson Mandela is admired around the world as an anti-apartheid hero and for his reconciliation efforts after the 1994 transition to a multiracial democracy after decades of white rule.