Quiet outside Mandela hospital

2013-08-31 16:33
The Pretoria hospital where Nelson Mandela is being treated. (File, AFP)

The Pretoria hospital where Nelson Mandela is being treated. (File, AFP)

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Pretoria - It was quiet outside the Mediclinic Heart hospital in Pretoria on Saturday where former president Nelson Mandela is being treated.

"Is Madiba still here it has been a long time," asked Pertunia Lekoe who was at the hospital with her children.

She had brought her two daughters to take photographs at the wall where messages wishing Mandela a speedy recovery had been left.

"We were just passing by and decided to take pictures here. I never thought he was still in hospital it had been too long," she said.

Earlier on Saturday, the presidency denied reports that Mandela had been discharged from hospital.

"The presidency has noted incorrect media reports that former president Nelson Mandela has been discharged from hospital," spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

"Madiba is still in hospital in Pretoria, and remains in a critical but stable condition. At times his condition becomes unstable, but he responds to medical interventions."

Maharaj was responding to various reports from the international media that the 95-year-old elder statesman was discharged from hospital in the early hours of Saturday morning and returned to his Johannesburg home.

On 24 August, the presidency said Mandela remained in a critical but stable condition but at times became unstable.

"While at times, his condition becomes unstable, the doctors indicate that the former president has demonstrated great resilience and his condition tends to stabilise as a result of medical interventions," Maharaj said at the time.

He said doctors were working hard to effect a turnaround, improve Mandela's health and keep him comfortable.

On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma said Mandela remained in a stable but critical condition in hospital.

Mandela is being treated for a recurring lung infection. He was admitted to hospital on June 8 this year.

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