Madiba ‘very critical but still reactive’ – Makaziwe

2013-06-27 12:17

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Former president Nelson Mandela’s eldest daughter, Makaziwe, has said her father was in a “critical” condition but that he was still “reactive”.

In an exclusive interview with SABC, to be broadcast later today, Makaziwe said: “I can reiterate that Tata is critical, that anything is imminent.”

She added that “God only would know” when it’s time for him to go.

Makaziwe also said he could still open his eyes “and he is still reactive to touch”.

President Jacob Zuma last night announced that he cancelled his trip to a Southern African Development Community summit in Mozambique after a late-night visit to Mandela in hospital.

In the exclusive interview with SABC, broadcast on SABC1 at 1pm, Makaziwe said: “I can reiterate that Tata is critical.”

She added that President Jacob Zuma’s cancellation of his trip to Mozambique to attend a SADC summit today showed that “anything is imminent. I can also state that God only knows when it is the time to go.” She said Madiba was still opening his eyes and he was still reactive to touch.

“We will live with hope until final end comes. I don’t want to lie. He doesn’t look good. But he’s still opening his eyes. He might be waning off, but he’s still there. I think for us as his children and grandchildren, as long as he’s still there, we want to give him the positive support, the positive energy.”

She also lashed out at the foreign media, saying they were like vultures: “There is sort of a racist element with the foreign media, where they just cross boundaries. You have no idea what is happening at the hospital. In the middle of Park Street they just stand. You can’t even get into the hospital. Truly, like vultures, it is like they are waiting for the last carcasses. That is what we feel as family.”

She added that it was understandable (that journalists are interested in Madiba’s health), “but they are going overboard”.

She said this didn’t happen when former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher was seriously ill earlier this year. “Is it just because we’re an African country, that they feel they don’t have to respect this? I just think it’s crass. If people think they really care about Nelson Mandela, they should respect that. Part of him should be respected, not everything of him should be out in the public.”

» This story was updated after first published

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