News / Africa

Mandela Marks One Month in Hospital

A group of faithfulls pray outside Pretoria's Mediclinic Heart hospital on July 7, 2013, where Former South African president Nelson Mandela lays in critical condition.
A group of faithfulls pray outside Pretoria's Mediclinic Heart hospital on July 7, 2013, where Former South African president Nelson Mandela lays in critical condition.
Anita Powell
South African icon Nelson Mandela has now spent one full month in a Pretoria hospital, where the elderly former president is being treated for a recurring lung infection.  Meanwhile, an ugly family feud rages outside the hospital.

Mandela will turn 95 in just 10 days, a huge milestone for a man whose life spanned both South Africa’s dimmest and brightest days.  As the nation’s first black president, he is credited with steering the divided country away from civil war and into an era of peace and democracy.

Details about his health are few, and often conflicting.  The president’s office, the lone source of official information, has more or less repeated the same three words for the last month.  For the first two weeks, Mandela was “serious but stable.”  Then his condition worsened, and since then he has been “critical but stable.”

Court papers filed by Mandela’s family at the end of last month indicated he was near death and depended on life support. But a friend who recently visited the aging icon told local media that he has a “very good chance of recovery.”

Only the president’s office is getting live, authoritative reports from Mandela’s doctors, said presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj.

“We have issued a statement saying that he remains in a critical but stable condition," he said. "And the doctors deny that he is in a vegetative state.”

That claim was at the center of explosive court documents filed late last month by members of the Mandela family.  The family filed suit against Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela, after he moved the bodies of three of Mandela’s children to Mvezo, the village where he is chief.

The family claimed that Mandla Mandela did not consult them on the decision, and insisted the bodies be moved back to the town of Qunu, where Mandela has built his retirement home and has previously indicated he would like to be laid to rest.

In documents filed to the court, the family bloc led by Mandela’s eldest living daughter said the anti-apartheid icon was “in a permanent vegetative state and is assisted in breathing by a life support machine.”

This week, local media reported that Mandla Mandela’s lawyer would file against the family for “misleading” the courts on Mandela’s health.

Mandla Mandela is also facing his possible removal as chief.  The ruler of his Thembu tribe has said that Mandla's actions, including a press conference in which he accused his brother of being illegitimate, were not welcome in the tribe.

Mandla Mandela declined to comment when reached by VOA.

The family feud has put the nation in the unusual position of urging Mandela’s family to come together and reconcile their differences.

“Well, it is an unfortunate development, but it is there, and we can not wish it away," said spokesman Maharaj. "And we can only hope it can be solved within the family as amicably, and as soon as possible.”

Words after Mandela’s own heart, as the man revered for bringing his fractured nation back together.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid