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Dublin: 1 °C Tuesday 28 January, 2020

Nelson Mandela still 'quite ill' and cannot talk

The South African’s ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela spoke to a local newspaper about the former president’s condition.

Image: Markus Schreiber/AP/Press Association Images

MONTHS AFTER BEING discharged from hospital after a long stay, Nelson Mandela is still receiving intensive treatment at his home in South Africa.

In an interview with the Sunday Independent at the weekend, his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela revealed that the 95-year-old can no longer talk “because of all the tubes that are in his mouth to clear the lungs”.

He uses his face to communicate, she said, adding that doctors are hopeful he can recover his voice.

She described his current bedroom at the Houghton home as being “like an ICU ward”.

“He remains quite ill,” she continued. “But thank God the doctors were able to pull him through from that (last) infection.”


Mandela was diagnosed with a recurring lung infection in June and was discharged on 1 September following an almost-three-month stay.

His condition has vacillated between critical, serious and unstable as the country offered up prayers and gifts to the anti-apartheid hero.

He is now in the care of a team of 22 doctors. While the pneumonia has cleared, his lungs remain sensitive to infection and germs.

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