News / Africa

    South African Government Says Mandela Still Critical, but Stable

    Young boys read  get well messages with a photograph of former South African President Nelson Mandela, outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where he is being treated in Pretoria, South Africa, July 1, 2013.
    Young boys read get well messages with a photograph of former South African President Nelson Mandela, outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where he is being treated in Pretoria, South Africa, July 1, 2013.
    VOA News
    The South African government says former President Nelson Mandela remains in "critical but stable" condition at the Pretoria hospital where he was admitted last month.

    In a statement Monday, President Jacob Zuma thanked all South Africans for keeping the anti-apartheid icon and his family in their prayers.  He urged the country to continue plans for Mandela's 95th birthday on July 18.

    Mandela has remained at Pretoria's Mediclinic Heart Hospital since he was rushed there June 8 for a recurring lung infection.

    Several friends of Mandela, including fellow political prisoner Andrew Mlangeni visited him Monday at the hospital.

    Also Monday, members of the ruling African National Congress marched to the hospital and sang songs outside in support of the former president.

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

    Mandela is considered a national hero in South Africa 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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