South Africa prepares to say farewell to anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, who remains in 'stable but critical' condition in Pretoria hospital
Ndileka Mandela says former president's condition is still critical but has not worsened, while daughter Makaziwe says he is responding to touch
Nelson Mandela's daughter said her father was in a “stable but critical” condition and still responding to touch after visiting him in hospital today. Makaziwe Mandela said the former president of South Africa “tries to open his eyes” when we talk to him but warned that “anything is imminent”.
Her visit followed news that the anti-apartheid icon was on life support and that President Jacob Zuma had cancelled a short visit to Mozambique. Mr Zuma visited the Pretoria hospital again today but declined to speak to the media on departure. After nearly three weeks in hospital undergoing treatment for a recurring lung infection his condition was revealed last night to have worsened significantly.
"Over the past 48 hours, the condition of former president Madiba has gone down," presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj told South Africa's state broadcaster SABC, using Mr Mandela's popular clan name. The spokesman refused to confirm or deny that the country's first democratically elected president was on life support, saying to do so would violate doctor-patient ethics.
As South Africa prepared to say goodbye to the 94-yea-old, a clan elder from his home area in Eastern Cape who had visited the Nobel Peace laureate said he was on life support.
“Yes, he is using machines to breathe," Napilisi Mandela told Agence France Press after visiting the anti-apartheid hero. "It is bad, but what can we do."
The life support system raises the thorny question of whether Mr Mandela's passing would be a decision to be made rather than a natural event. And if so who would make that decision.
His wife Graca Machel, the former first lady of Mozambique, and his eldest daughter, Makaziwe Mandela, have been the most prominent family members during the struggle icon's twenty days in hospital. South Africa's presidency, who have responsibility for funeral arrangements in the event of his death, are consumed with the imminent arrival of US President Barack Obama who lands in Johannesburg on Friday evening.
- 1 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 2 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 3 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...