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Ninetly-five children release 95 balloons after praying for former President Nelson Mandela to reach his upcoming 95th birthday outside Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, where Mandela is being treated for a recurring lung infection.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

People gather outside the Pretoria hospital where Nelson Mandela is being treated.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Themba Hadebe / Associated Press

A man sits in a pew during a prayer vigil for Nelson Mandela at St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town. Madiba is Mandela's clan name.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer Bruce / AFP/Getty Images

Children pray in front of Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Filippo Monteforte / AFP/Getty Images

The shadow of a young girl is cast on a banner honoring Nelson Mandela outside Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Odd Andersen / AFP/Getty Images

Mandela admirers hold up a cloth bearing his image outside the hospital.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Marco Longari / AFP/Getty Images

Members of the African National Congress Youth League wave a Mandela banner as they head to a gathering in Pretoria.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Ben Curtis / Associated Press

A woman prays outside the Pretoria hospital where Nelson Mandela clings to life.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Themba Hadebe / Associated Press

A man on Soweto Vilakazi Street in Johannesburg awaits news of former South African President Nelson Mandela.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jeff J. Mitchell / Getty Images

Supporters gather next to Mandela's former home in Soweto township in Johannesburg.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jeff J. Mitchell / Getty Images

A woman boils water in a traditional pot inside her hut near the house of former President Nelson Mandela in Qunu, South Africa.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Schalk van Zuydam / Associated Press

A group of well-wishers hold candles as they pray for the recovery of Nelson Mandela outside Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Odd Andersen / AFP/Getty Images

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South Africans hold vigil outside hospital treating Nelson Mandela

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South Africans hold vigil outside hospital treating Nelson Mandela

By Robyn Dixon

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Nelson Mandela’s daughter Makaziwe spoke movingly of her father’s continued responses to his family Thursday, saying he was “still there,” trying to open his eyes when they spoke to him.

As the world waited for additional news and messages of love poured in, her words offered a poignant insight into the raw pain of his family in its bedside vigil.

“I won’t lie, it doesn’t look good. But as I say, if we speak to him, he responds and tries to open his eyes. He’s still there,” she said in an interview with state-owned SABC television.

Read full story: Nelson Mandela ‘still there,’ responding to family, daughter says

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