Mandla: Mandela ‘fine’ to stay in Joburg

2013-09-02 14:47

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Former president Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Nkosi Mandla Mandela, says his family is delighted the elderly statesman was back home.

Mandla told City Press today he was with his iconic grandfather in his Houghton home in Johannesburg.

Asked how his condition was, Mandla said he was “fine” and receiving the best medical help from his doctors and nurses.

Mandla said moving Madiba back to his rural home of Qunu in the Eastern Cape would depend on the advice of his medical team treating him.

“The top priority is his health at the moment. A journey to Qunu is a tiresome journey, we will only consider taking him to Qunu if the medical team is happy that he is fit to travel such a long trip.

“But really, locality is not relevant at this stage. All we want as a family is that he receives the best healthcare wherever he is and for him to recover,” Mandla said.

Madiba, as the 95-year-old world icon is affectionately known, was discharged to his Johannesburg home on Sunday after spending 86 days at a Pretoria Hospital.

He was admitted there on June 8 where he has been receiving treatment for a recurring lung infection.

Madiba’s condition in hospital has most of the time been described as “critical but stable.”

Outside his home in Qunu there was no noticeable activity while villagers went about their business.

In a statement yesterday Mandla, who is also the chief of Mvezo, Madiba’s birthplace, said his grandfather being discharged proved that some family members had lied when they said in court papers he was in a “permanent vegetative state”.

“Dalibhunga’s discharge is particularly heartening because it flies in the face of those who have been busy spreading lies that he was in a ‘vegetative state’ and just waiting for his support machines to be switched off, in effect declaring him dead while he was fully alive and showing his fighting spirit that has defined him over the many years of his life,” Mandla said.

In June, Mandela’s daughter Makaziwe and 15 members of the Mandela family told the Mthatha High Court that Madiba was in a permanent vegetative state and doctors had advised the family to switch off his life support.

The family had approached the high court to force Mandla to return to Qunu the remains of Mandela’s late three children, Makgatho, Thembekile and baby Makaziwe.

Mandla had dug up the remains, buried them in a family gravesite in Qunu in 2011 and reburied them in Mvezo without the family’s consent.

The court decided on behalf of the 16 Mandela members and the remains were dug up from Mvezo and reburied at Madiba’s farm in Qunu.

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