News / Africa

    Mandela's Daughter Says Former President 'Very Critical'

    A group of unidentified relatives carry bunches of flowers that were left by wellwishers into the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, South Africa, June 27, 2013.
    A group of unidentified relatives carry bunches of flowers that were left by wellwishers into the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, South Africa, June 27, 2013.
    VOA News
    The daughter of Nelson Mandela says the former South African president is in "very critical" condition.

    Makaziwe Mandela spoke to state radio Thursday as members of the family gathered at Pretoria's Mediclinic Heart Hospital, where Mandela has spent the past 19 days.

    President Jacob Zuma canceled a planned trip to Mozambique late Wednesday after visiting Mandela in the hospital.

    Crowds of well-wishers remain outside the facility paying tribute to the anti-apartheid icon through posters, songs and prayer.

    Many said they hope he can recover but are ready to see him go if it will spare him pain.

    The 94-year-old Nobel Peace laureate was hospitalized June 8 for a recurring lung infection.  A statement from the president's office says doctors are still doing everything they can to ensure Mandela's well-being.

    On Tuesday, Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba offered a prayer that Mandela, the nation's first black president, be granted a "peaceful, perfect end."

    U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to arrive in South Africa Friday as part of his week-long visit to the continent.  He will visit Robben Island, where Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years under apartheid.

    • Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, ex-wife of former South African President Nelson Mandela, holds a candle during a prayer service for the ailing Mandela at a church in Johannesburg, July 5, 2013. 
    • Ndaba Mandela (R), one of former South African President Nelson Mandela's grandsons, and an unidentified companion leave the Mediclinic Heart Hospital, where the former president is being treated, in Pretoria, July 5, 2013. 
    • Well-wishers pray in support of ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela in front of the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where he is being treated in Pretoria, July 5, 2013.
    • Daughter, Makaziwe Mandela, leaves after visiting the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, July 5, 2013. 
    • Well-wishers post messages outside the hospital where ailing former President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, July 5, 2013. 
    • A well-wisher weeps as he pays his respects outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital, where ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, July 1, 2013.
    • Boys hold a candle as they pay their respects outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital, where ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, July 1, 2013.
    • Men stand next to a banner covered with portraits of Nelson Mandela to a wall outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, June 28, 2013.
    • A well-wisher pays respect to ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, June 27, 2013.
    • Granddaughters Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway and Tukwini Mandela are surrounded by the media outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, June 27, 2013.
    • Children release 95 white balloons to mark the upcoming birthday of ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, June 27, 2013.

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