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Monday, June 24, 2013 - 9:39am
News crews and a few well-wishers huddled early Monday on the cold streets outside the Pretoria hospital where former South African President Nelson Mandela is now in critical condition.
An anxious nation stood in vigil as well.
Over the weekend, Mandela's health took a turn for the worse, with the South African president's office saying Sunday that Mandela was in critical condition.
He has been hospitalized in Pretoria since June 8 for a recurring lung infection. Previously, authorities had described his condition as serious but stable.
"The doctors are doing everything possible to get his condition to improve and are ensuring that Mandela is well-looked after and is comfortable. He is in good hands," President Jacob Zuma said Sunday in a written statement, referring to Mandela's tribal name.
Mandela, 94, has become increasingly frail over the years and has not appeared in public since South Africa hosted the World Cup in 2010.
Outside the hospital, a security wall was awash with get-well cards, balloons, flowers, cards and paintings, the South African Press Association reported.