News / Africa

    Mandela Still in Critical Condition

    A well wisher wearing ANC colors gestures in front of the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital, where the ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated at, in Pretoria, July 9, 2013.
    A well wisher wearing ANC colors gestures in front of the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital, where the ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated at, in Pretoria, July 9, 2013.
    VOA News
    South Africa says Nelson Mandela remains in critical but stable condition, while his grandson says the anti-apartheid icon remains "very much alive."

    In a statement Tuesday, South African President Jacob Zuma thanked the public for its continued show of support outside of the Pretoria hospital where Mandela has remained since June 8.

    Meanwhile his grandson, Ndaba Mandela, said that Mandela responds when spoken to.  He urged people to celebrate his grandfather's life ahead of his 95th birthday on July 18.

    The former South African president has been in critical condition for more than two weeks, amid reports that he is on life support.

    Last week, the government denied a report that Mandela is in a vegetative state.

    For weeks, groups of well-wishers have gathered outside the hospital, delivering flowers and messages of support for their ailing hero.

    Mandela is revered in South Africa and beyond for his role in ending official racial discrimination and white minority rule.  After spending 27 years in prison, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, and was elected South Africa's first black president the following year.


    • 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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