Home Journey for Nelson Mandela, Icon of Liberation
7/20/2011, 1:06 p.m.
May 24 (GIN)-Former South African President Nel- son Mandela, accompanied by his wife, Graca Machel, traveled home to Qunu in the Eastern Cape for an unsched- uled visit with his extensive medical team.
Sources close to the 92-year- old anti-apartheid icon said he had told his family: "I want to go home."
Staff at Mthatha Airport in the Transkei-usually warned days in advance of an impend- ing visit-were told only mo- ments before his arrival to "get things ready."
Mandela had a health scare on Jan. 27, which brought him to Johannesburg's Milpark Hospital with an acute respira- tory infection.
A recent state visit to Mande- la's home, seen on YouTube in a government-made video, showed the much-beloved hero to have lost part of his warm and gra- cious spark, according to viewers.
Meanwhile, preparations are underway for social ac- tion in celebration of Mandela Day, to be marked around the world on July 18.