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Nelson Mandela still 'critical but stable' in hospital

Meanwhile, a bitter family feud continues to be played out in public, complete with allegations of adultery, grave tampering and siblings born out of wedlock.

Lehlogonolo Nkosi, 7, holds a portrait of Nelson Mandela as she and her grandmother Florah, 52, unseen, leave after visiting the entrance where flowers and get-well messages have been left by well-wishers at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital.
Lehlogonolo Nkosi, 7, holds a portrait of Nelson Mandela as she and her grandmother Florah, 52, unseen, leave after visiting the entrance where flowers and get-well messages have been left by well-wishers at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital.
Image: Ben Curtis/AP/Press Association Images

FORMER SOUTH AFRICAN leader Nelson Mandela remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital, almost one month after being admitted for recurring lung problems.

Current president Jacob Zuma visited his predecessor earlier today and issued an official statement to update the nation.

“We appreciate all the love and compassion. Madiba is receiving the best medical care from a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals who are at his bedside around the clock. He is well looked after,” he said.

With Nelson Mandela Day approaching on 18 July (to coincide with this 95th birthday), Zuma urged South Africans to volunteer 67 minutes of their time to help change their communities and the country for the better.

This year’s event will take place under the theme, “Take action; inspire change; make every day a Mandela Day”, will focus on food security, shelter and literacy.

Earlier today, Mandela’s wife Graca Machel spoke to reporters about her husband’s 25-day stay in hospital.

“Madiba sometimes has been uncomfortable, but he has never been in pain,” she reassured the public. “The outpouring and humbling demonstrations of love, of care, of support, of hope are taken into our hearts every single day. We thank you very deeply.”

Meanwhile, a family row continues to escalate with the eldest grandchild, Mandla, launching a tirade against his relatives today following orders to return the remains of three of Manela’s children.

“In the past few days I have been the target of attacks from all sorts of individuals wanting a few minutes of fame and media attention at my expense,” Mandla said at a nationally televised press conference held at a grass thatched public hall in the remote village of Mvezo where he is chief.

“At the moment it seems that anyone and everyone can come and say ‘I am a Mandela’ and demand to be part of decision-making in this family. Individuals decided to jump on the Mandela waggon,” he added, before launching personal attacks on a number of his relatives.

He accused Mandela’s daughter Makaziwe of trying to “sow divisions and destruction” in her family.

The icon’s ex-wife Winnie, who has regularly visited him in hospital, “has no business in the matters of the Mandelas,” he added before calling his own brother Ndaba out for being born out of wedlock.

The remains which were exhumed are to be reburied at Manela’s childhood village of Qunu this afternoon, according to local authorities.

-Additional reporting by AFP

More: Mandela grandson ordered to return disputed family remains

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