JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Nelson Mandela headed into a third night in hospital Sunday as South Africans prayed for his return to health, yet also seemed increasingly resigned to the 94-year-old's fate after months of health scares.
The former South African president, known by his Xhosa clan nameMadiba, was taken to a Pretoria hospital at around 1:30 a.m. Saturday suffering from a recurring lung infection.
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His wife Graca Machel cancelled a planned trip to London to return to his bedside, while on Sunday family members including eldest daughter Makaziwe were seen entering the hospital.
The South African presidency released no new updates on his condition Sunday.
A longtime friend of Mandela's told South Africa's Sunday Times that "his family must release him."
"We wish Madiba a speedy recovery, but I think what is important is that his family must release him," Andrew Mlangeni told the newspaper.
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"You [Madiba] have been coming to the hospital too many times. Quite clearly you are not well and there is a possibility you might not be well again. The family must release him so that God may have his own way."