Mbeki to visit Brenda Fassie

2004-05-03 20:27

Johannesburg - President Thabo Mbeki was expected to pay a brief visit to unconscious pop diva Brenda Fassie at Sunninghill Hospital north of Johannesburg on Monday night.

A prayer service was held for Fassie earlier on Monday evening at the hospital where she is in a coma after having an asthma attack last week, said her record company, EMI.

The service was conducted by Pastor Musa Sono of the Grace Bible Church in Soweto, said EMI Records lawyer Leslie Sedibe.

He said earlier on Monday that Fassie, who has been in a coma since being admitted to the hospital, contracted a lung infection overnight.

"This is being treated and the doctors do not consider the infection to be life threatening," he said, adding that Fassie was still in a critical condition.

Fassie was taken to hospital on Monday last week after an asthma attack which led to cardio-respiratory arrest.

Doctors were able to resuscitate her, but she fell into a coma.

Sedibe confirmed Fassie had also suffered damage to her brain, but said this was "not the same as saying somebody is brain dead".

He said a neurosurgeon from Sunninghill Hospital confirmed that Fassie's neurological condition remained the same.

"She remains in a coma and her condition is considered critical, but stable."

Sedibe said the Fassie family wanted to thank Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, her daughter, Zinzi, health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, former boxing champion Baby Jakes Matlala, musician Mariam Makeba and Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni for their support.