Mandela condition unchanged – presidency

2013-06-10 10:54

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The presidency has issued a statement saying the condition of former president Nelson Mandela is unchanged.

“President Jacob Zuma reiterates his call for South Africa to pray for Madiba and the family during this time,” the statement read.

Madiba was admitted to hospital in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The presidency said Mandela was in a “serious but stable” condition and suffering from a recurring lung infection.

Meanwhile, ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said he does not know about ruling party officials reportedly being banned from visiting Mandela in hospital.

“I’m not aware (of that),” Khoza said.

The Star newspaper reported today that the Mandela family had taken charge of the 94-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner’s hospital stay, banning everyone – including government leaders and senior party officials – from visiting him.

The media continued camping outside his house in Houghton, Johannesburg, and a Pretoria hospital this morning.

About 12 journalists and eight cameras were stationed across the road from Mandela’s Houghton house.

There were still messages of support, on stones surrounding plants outside Mandela’s home, from the ailing icon’s previous hospital stay earlier this year.

A tile with a picture of Mandela was nestled between the stones. Written on the tile was: “We promise to keep South Africa: your dream”, “let’s keep our promise”, “Tata Madiba: Thanks to you we are proud to be South African”, and “we promise to live in peace and harmony”.

In Pretoria, numerous reporters and photographers were monitoring the two entrances to the hospital where he was believed to have been admitted.

Some passers-by enquired from the journalists how Mandela was doing.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was spotted at the hospital on Saturday, but his spokesperson Thabo Masebe said he was there for his own doctor’s appointment and not to see Mandela.

Mandela has been in and out of hospital in the past few years. At the end of March and in April this year he spent nine days in hospital receiving treatment for recurring lung problems.

Earlier in March, he was admitted to a Pretoria hospital for a scheduled check-up and was discharged the following day.

In December last year, Mandela underwent an operation to remove gallstones and treat the recurring lung infection. He was discharged after an 18-day stay and placed under home-based high care at his Houghton home.

In January, the presidency said Mandela had made a full recovery from the surgery and continued to improve. In February last year, he was admitted to hospital for a stomach ailment.

In January 2011, a virtual void of information marked Mandela’s admission to Johannesburg specialist care Milpark Hospital. With very little information to go on at that time, speculation was rife and reports of his death started running on social networks.

Finally, on January 28, Motlanthe and surgeon general Vejaynand Ramlakan addressed a media briefing on his health.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation, which customarily managed publicity for Mandela, only broke its silence on Monday, January 31 2011.

This was after then Sunday Independent editor Makhudu Sefara wrote an item called “The making of an unnecessary crisis”.

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