Tuesday 21 November 2017

Mandela in "critical" condition

Then South African President Nelson Mandela is pictured in this August 1996 file photo.
Then South African President Nelson Mandela is pictured in this August 1996 file photo.
An ambulance carrying Nelson Mandela to a hospital two weeks ago developed engine trouble, it has emerged
A group of wellwishers outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where former South African president Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Nelson Mandela is now in a critical condition, the South African presidency has said. The 94-year-old's status has been upgraded in the last 24 hours, and doctors are doing everything they can to ensure he is "comfortable."

Nelson Mandela is now in a critical condition, the South African presidency has said. The 94-year-old's status has been upgraded in the last 24 hours, and doctors are doing everything they can to ensure he is "comfortable."

South African President Jacob Zuma visited Mandela this evening in hospital, alongside ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, and Mr Zuma issued a statement today, saying: "The doctors are doing everything possible to get his condition to improve and are ensuring that Madiba is well-looked after and is comfortable. He is in good hands."

Mr Zuma and Mr Ramaphosa were briefed of Mr Mandela's condition earlier today. President Zuma has appealed to the nation and the world to pray for him, his family and his medical team.

Mandela was transferred to a Pretoria hospital two weeks ago where he was being treated for a recurring lung infection.

Earlier this week, the South African government confirmed that the ambulance transferring the Nobel Peace Prize winner to hospital, 31 miles away from his home, had broken down en route.

In a written message, Graca Machel, Mr Mandela's wife, expressed the family's gratitude for messages of support, in particular from children singing outside the Mandela home.

The leader of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement, Mr Mandela spent 27 years in prison during white racist rule. He was freed in 1990 and became South Africa's first black president in 1994.

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