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Continued: South Africa president says Mandela improved overnight; condition is critical but stable

  • Article by: CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA , Associated Press
  • Last update: June 27, 2013 - 10:16 AM

"And if and when he passes from this place, one thing I think we'll all know is that his legacy is one that will linger on throughout the ages," Obama said.

In Jerusalem, the visiting archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said Mandela has been in his thoughts and prayers.

"We're praying constantly for President Mandela, especially for his family, for the people of South Africa and for peace in their hearts and minds of what must be a very traumatic time for them," he said at an interfaith meeting.

Mandela's 95th birthday is on July 18, an occasion ahead of which South African organizers and others around the world are planning humanitarian acts to honor the legacy of the former president. Samson Divhula, a statistician in Pretoria, said he hoped Mandela would live at least until his day.

"If God takes him before he reaches his 95th birthday, so be it," he said. "We'll accept it and wish Mandela well and still celebrate his 95th birthday."

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