Where will Mandela be buried?
JOHANNESBURG — As Nelson Mandela remained hospitalized in critical condition in Friday, a family feud over where the 94-year-old former president should be buried went to the courts, according to South Africa’s national broadcaster.
Mandela’s oldest daughter, Makaziwe, and 15 other family members have pressed a court application to get Mandela’s grandson to return the bodies of three of Mandela’s children to their original graves in the eastern rural village of Qunu, according to the SABC.
The grandson, Mandla Mandela, acknowledges having reburied the three bodies 20 kilometers (13 miles) away in the Mvezo village, where he plans to create a Mandela shrine, hotel and soccer stadium, according to the South African Press Association.
Grandson Mandla Mandela has until Saturday to respond to the court filing, reports said.
The anti-apartheid leader built his retirement home in Qunu and was living there until his repeated hospitalizations which started at the end of last year. Nelson Mandela attended the burial of his son at the family plot in Qunu in 2005, and it was widely expected that the leader himself will be buried there.
For Obama, ties to Mandela loom over visit to South Africa
JOHANNESBURG — Inspired by Nelson Mandela’s struggles in South Africa, a young Barack Obama joined campus protests in the U.S. against the racist rule that kept Mandela locked away in prison for nearly three decades.
Now a historic, barrier-breaking figure himself, President Obama arrived in South Africa Friday to find a country drastically transformed by Mandela’s influence — and grappling with the beloved 94-year-old’s mortality.
It was unclear whether Mandela’s deteriorating health would allow Obama to make a hospital visit. The former South African leader is battling a recurring lung infection and is said to be in critical condition at a hospital in the South African capital of Pretoria.
Speaking to reporters on Air Force One as he made his way to Johannesburg, Obama said he would gauge the situation after he arrived.
“I don’t need a photo-op,” he said. “And the last thing I want to do is to be in any way obtrusive at a time when the family is concerned about Nelson Mandela’s condition.”
Pa. girl, 10, doing well after second lung transplant
PHILADELPHIA — A 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl who underwent a double-lung transplant amid a national debate over the organ allocation process received a second set of lungs after the first failed, and has now taken some breaths on her own, the girl’s parents said Friday.
The first set of lungs failed within hours of the June 12 transplant at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Sarah Murnaghan was placed on machines, according to her mother. She was placed back on the lung transplant list the night after her surgery and received a second set of lungs on June 15.
“We were told … that she was going to die,” Janet Murnaghan said at a news conference Friday afternoon as she explained why Sarah’s second transplant was not publicly disclosed. “We weren’t prepared to live out her dying in public.”
The suburban Philadelphia girl initially received lungs from an adult donor after her parents sued over national rules that place children behind adolescents and adults on the priority list for adult lungs — even if the children are sicker and are capable of accepting adult organs.
The Murnaghans and the family of 11-year-old Javier Acosta of New York City challenged the policy making children under 12 wait for pediatric lungs to become available or be offered adult lungs only after adolescents and adults on the waiting list had been considered.
Both children have end-stage cystic fibrosis.
By wire sources