Presidency consistent with Mandela updates – ANC

2013-06-22 16:27

The presidency has been consistent in keeping South Africa and the world informed of the health condition of former president Nelson Mandela, the ANC has said.

“The presidency has been consistent and reliable in ensuring that the nation and the world is kept informed on developments relating to our beloved statement and icon, Comrade Nelson Mandela,” spokesman Jackson Mthembu said today.

“The ANC has no doubt that the reports they provide are indeed sufficient to ensure that, while respecting the privacy of the former president and his family, we are all kept up-to-date and knowledgeable about his condition within the confines of medical ethics and doctor-patient confidentiality.”

Mthembu said the ANC have no doubt that Mandela continued to receive the “very best medical care and attention”.

Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj today said Mandela remained in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

He said the military ambulance that transported Mandela to hospital two weeks ago broke down due to “engine problems” but that all care was taken to ensure his medical condition was not “compromised by the unforeseen incident”.

“Doctors attending to Madiba are satisfied that the former president suffered no harm during this period,” he said.

Mandela (94) was hospitalised in the early hours of June 8 with a recurring lung infection.

Maharaj said the fully equipped military ICU (intensive care unit) ambulance had a specialised medical staff on board, including intensive care specialists and ICU nurses. It was accompanied by two quick response vehicles.

United States-based CBS News reported yesterday that Mandela’s liver and kidneys were functioning at 50%, and that the ailing former statesman had two procedures, one to repair a bleeding ulcer and another to insert a tube.

According to the report, Mandela had not opened his eyes in days and was unresponsive.

However, Maharaj said the presidency has been the “source for authoritative reporting on Mandela’s health“.

“Our reports are based on the reports we receive from doctors. We avoid clinical details because we want to ensure no transgression into the privacy of Mandela and his family is ensured,” Maharaj said.

“The presidency needs to ensure the dignity of the former president and need to ensure the circumstances are not surrounded by undignified speculative reports.”

Mthembu said the ANC thanked the public for their support and for keeping the Mandela family in their thoughts and prayers.

“The African National Congress once again calls upon all concerned parties including the media to afford president Mandela and his family respect and privacy during this difficult time,” he said.

“The ANC, on behalf of the people of South Africa, extends our gratitude to the medical personnel attending to him from the time he left home to be admitted into hospital on the 8th June and since then.”

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