Nelson Mandela still ‘serious but stable’ in intensive care

SOUTH AFRICA – Former South African president Nelson Mandela was in hospital for a third day today as he continues to battle a lung infection. The anti-apartheid hero, 94, remains in a “serious but stable condition”, according to the latest government update. 

Mr Mandela on his 94th birthday
Mr Mandela on his 94th birthday

Mandela’s daughter Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, South Africa’s ambassador to Argentina, flew home to be at his bedside with his third wife Graca Machel and other family members today.

President Jacob Zuma’s office said Mandela’s condition was unchanged and confirmed that he was in intensive care at a hospital in Pretoria. The government said in a statement: “President Jacob Zuma reiterates his call for South Africa to pray for Madiba and the family during this time.”

His former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, visited him on Monday.

Mr Mandela, 94, was admitted to hospital early on Saturday for the third time this year. He is being treated for a lung infection.  In releasing the latest update, presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj also denied that visitors were being blocked from seeing Mr Mandela.

He said: “The reality is that the normal procedures when a patient is under intensive care are applying from the medical side.

“Therefore there are limitations on visitors and, you know, that when a person is in intensive care the doctors only allow some very close people to be there – it is not the way it is being presented in the media.”

The presidency said Mr Mandela had been ill for some days at his Johannesburg home, with a recurrence of his long-standing lung problems.