Winnie arrives at Mandela hospital

2013-06-24 16:08
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Pretoria - Former president Nelson Mandela's relatives visited him at the Pretoria Hospital where he remained in a critical condition on Monday afternoon.

His ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and daughter Zindzi Mandela drove onto the premises of the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in a gold-coloured BMW fitted with blue police lights.

Another daughter, Zenani Mandela, arrived earlier in a black Mercedes-Benz.

Local and international journalists remained outside the hospital.

It was speculated that President Jacob Zuma would soon pay another visit.

Earlier in the day, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and UDM leader Bantu Holomisa arrived separately at the hospital.

"The condition of former president Nelson Mandela, who is still in hospital in Pretoria, has become critical," presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement on Sunday night.

Addressing the media in a briefing initially scheduled as an off-the-record editors' briefing on Monday, Zuma said Mandela’s condition had not changed.

"Mandela remains in a critical condition in hospital and doctors are doing everything possible to ensure his well-being and comfort," Zuma said in Johannesburg.

He and deputy ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa visited Mandela at the hospital on Sunday night.

"... I was told by the doctors, that Madiba's health had changed in the past 24-hours and he was now critical," Zuma said.

"We had a discussion with the doctors and his [Mandela's] wife, Graça Machel... and then we left."

No further details

Zuma said he was not in a position to give further details.

Answering reporters' questions, Zuma said Mandela's condition would not affect US President Barack Obama's planned visit to South Africa on Friday.

"If there was such a visit... and somebody fell sick, I don't think we would stop the visit.... So we [are] not going to stop because Madiba is sick," Zuma said.

In reply to a question about Mandela's condition, Zuma reiterated: "I am not a doctor... When a person is critical, he is critical... I am not in a position to say how critical..."

Mandela, 94, was admitted to hospital on 8 June for treatment of a recurring lung infection.

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