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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Latest News Nelson Mandela's condition critical but 'stable'

Latest News Nelson Mandela's condition critical but 'stable'- Former South African leader Nelson Mandela is in a stable condition, his granddaughter says, though he remains critical.

Ndileka Mandela said the 94-year-old's family were taking comfort from messages of support from the public.

Mr Mandela's health had worsened in recent days, prompting President Jacob Zuma to cancel a foreign visit.

South Africa's first black president has been in hospital since 8 June with a lung infection.

Emotional crowds continue to gather outside the Pretoria hospital.

They have been adding messages of support for Mr Mandela, known by his clan name Madiba.

Correspondents say South Africans now seem resigned to the prospect of his death. "We don't like seeing Mandela going through so much pain, he has had a tough time in his life and he's gone through a lot of struggle. I think this struggle should get over sooner," Khulile Mlondleni told the BBC.

"We are all going to feel bad when he passes [away], but at the same time we will be celebrating his life. He has done so many great things for this country," said 25-year-old John Ndlovu, quoted by Reuters news agency.
Speculation warning

After visiting her grandfather in hospital, Mdileka Mandela said it was an anxious time for the family.

"He's stable and we'd like to say that we thank everybody for giving their support and praying with us ... we are anxious as you know that he is critical but he's in a stable condition right now," she said.

"It's been hard, especially because of all of this - that we have to do everything in the public eye."

Mr Zuma's spokesman Mac Maharaj said on Wednesday evening that Mr Mandela's condition had deteriorated over the weekend.

After consultations with doctors, Mr Zuma said he was cancelling his trip to a regional summit in the Mozambican capital Maputo. The statement from his office said he "reiterated his gratitude on behalf of government, to all South Africans who continue to support the Madiba family".

The decision will only reinforce the impression that Nelson Mandela's life is slipping away, the BBC's Mike Wooldridge reports from Johannesburg.

But later Mr Zuma's office warned against speculation about Mr Mandela's health, saying that announcements about his condition would come from the president himself or Mr Maharaj.

Mr Maharaj criticised some media outlets for broadcasting unverified information, as rumours spread on social media sites.

Mr Mandela is revered for leading the fight against white minority rule in South Africa and then preaching reconciliation despite being imprisoned for 27 years.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was elected president the following year. He left office in 1999 after a single term. 


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