June 26 - Phathekile Holomisa, a member of parliament and president of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa, says Nelson Mandela should not suffer as he remains critical in hospital. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
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Rough cut - no reporter narration.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela remained in a critical condition in hospital after being admitted more than two weeks ago with a lung infection, the government said in its latest update on Wednesday.
Madiba, as he is affectionately known, is revered among most of South Africa's 53 million people as the architect of the transition to multi-racial democracy after three centuries of white domination.
However, his latest hospitalisation - his fourth in six months - has reinforced a realisation that the father of the post-apartheid "Rainbow Nation" will not be around forever.
Phathekile Holomisa is a member of parliament and president of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa. He said Mandela's life should not be prolonged if he is suffering.
"If Madiba is no longer enjoying life and he is basically on life support systems and therefore he is not appreciative of what is happening, I think the good Lord should take a decision to put him out of his suffering," Holomisa said in the Eastern Cape.
"It's going to be a painful loss because he has been - he is a pillar of strength, a moral leader who has been able to prevent a number of people who would have been otherwise mischievous from doing things that would embarrass Madiba. So he is the kind of leader that we would hope other leaders would want to emulate."
Members of the public continue to offer their good wishes outside the Pretoria hospital where Mandela is being treated. Supporters have left flowers and message of support for the Nobel Peace Prize Winner at a wall near the hospital entrance.