Mandela family gathers in hometown, as 94-year-old remains critical

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Associated Press

Posted on June 25, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 25 at 1:33 PM

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Members of Nelson Mandela's family and tribal elders have gathered today at his rural home town in eastern South Africa.

This, as concern grows for the 94-year-old former president and anti-apartheid leader. He's spent a third day in critical condition in a hospital.

Press reports say Mandela's family members held a meeting at his home in the village where Mandela grew up. Those at the gathering reportedly included Mandela's grandsons.

As on previous days, other family members were seen visiting the hospital in Pretoria where the Nobel Peace Prize laureate is being treated.

Today, the office of President Jacob Zuma said Mandela's condition remained unchanged. The president's office had reported late Sunday that Mandela's condition had worsened to critical.

Well-wishers again gathered outside the hospital to leave messages of support. One man released dozens of doves, saying they were a symbol of how Mandela had set South Africans free.

%@AP Links

178-a-14-(Kelvin Hugo, Nelson Mandela supporter, at AP interview)-"freedom of assocation"-Mandela supporter Kelvin Hugo says Nelson Mandela has helped South Africans towards many freedoms, giving them a voice as individuals within a new nation. (25 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *178 (06/25/13)££ 00:14 "freedom of assocation"

177-a-13-(Kelvin Hugo, Mandela supporter, in AP interview)-"as South Africans"-Mandela supporter Kelvin Hugo says releasing doves into the sky is a way of showing appreciation for everything Nelson Mandela has done for South Africa. (25 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *177 (06/25/13)££ 00:13 "as South Africans"

GRAPHICSBANK: NELSON MANDELA, as ANC leader, during 1990 speech at Soweto Soccer City stadium following his release from prison, South Africa, on texture, finished graphic (25 Jun 2013)

APPHOTO ABC123: A woman from a community group from Pretoria sheds a tear as she holds a candle, as she and others show their appreciation and support for former South African President Nelson Mandela, on the street outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where he is being treated in Pretoria, South Africa Tuesday, June 25, 2013. South Africa's president Jacob Zuma on Tuesday urged his compatriots to show their appreciation for Nelson Mandela, who is in critical condition in a hospital, by marking his 95th birthday next month with acts of goodness that honor the legacy of the anti-apartheid leader. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis) (25 Jun 2013)

<<APPHOTO ABC123 (06/25/13)££

APPHOTO ABC120: Daughter Makaziwe Mandela, center-left, granddaughter Ndileka Mandela, center-right, and granddaughter Tukwini Mandela, far right, leave at night after visiting the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, South Africa Tuesday, June 25, 2013. South Africa's president Jacob Zuma on Tuesday urged his compatriots to show their appreciation for Nelson Mandela, who is in critical condition in a hospital, by marking his 95th birthday next month with acts of goodness that honor the legacy of the anti-apartheid leader. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis) (25 Jun 2013)

<<APPHOTO ABC120 (06/25/13)££

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