Madiba breathing normally - Winnie

2013-08-08 14:12
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (Picture: AFP)

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - As former president Nelson Mandela marks two months in hospital, his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has spoken about the strain his illness has had on the family.

She told Sky News that family members have been hurt by continual reports of his demise.

"It's so cruel," she said. "All around us we see people erecting scaffolding, preparing for a funeral. He has been pre-deceased. Do people not think of our emotions?"

Mandela remains in a critical but stable condition after being hospitalised on 8 June with a recurring lung infection, and has shown signs of improvement.

He is now breathing normally, she said, denying reports that he is in a permanent vegetative state. "Why would we conceal that?"

It is difficult seeing him lying vulnerable in his hospital bed, she added. "For those of us who know him, who know his strength, it is very hard."

Mandela's eyes still "lit up" when his children came to visit him, she said. "That is how he communicates with them."

Madikizela-Mandela also praised the medical team who are ensuring that he remains "comfortable".

She said they knew "the inevitable" would happen, but said only God could decide when that would be.

- See the Sky News video clip.

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