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Reports: Nelson Mandela 'on life support'

The former President of South Africa was admitted to hospital due to recurring lung problems.

An unidentified woman wearing earrings bearing the image of former South African President Nelson Mandela, outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where he is being treated in Pretoria
An unidentified woman wearing earrings bearing the image of former South African President Nelson Mandela, outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where he is being treated in Pretoria
Image: Themba Hadebe/AP/Press Association Images

NEW REPORTS SAY that former South African President Nelson Mandela is on life support.

CBS News said that it has confirmed that Mandela, who has been in hospital since 8 June, “has been placed on life support”.

CNN is also reporting that the man South Africans call ‘Mandiba’ is on life support in the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where he is being treated in Pretoria.

Messages of support

Emotional crowds gathered outside the hospital where Mandela lay in critical condition today, as relatives and clan elders made preparations for the revered former South African leader’s final journey.

Supporters sang hymns for the 94-year-old architect of South Africa’s remarkable transition from almost half a century of white minority rule to landmark multiracial elections.

With his life seemingly slipping away, messages of support for the anti-apartheid hero blanketed a wall outside the hospital, including a poster bearing one of his most memorable quotes: “It only seems impossible until it’s done”.

The former political prisoner was hospitalised on June 8 with a lung problem dating from his 27 years locked up on the notorious Robben Island and in other apartheid prisons.

With his condition deteriorating, Mandela was breathing with the assistance of a life support ventilator, South African daily The Citizen reported, quoting unnamed family sources.

Officially there was no change in Mandela’s condition, with President Jacob Zuma reporting he was still “in a critical condition.”

According to local media, elders from Mandela’s Thembu clan were due to visit the Nobel laureate as his “Rainbow Nation” comes to terms with his increasing frailty.

The elders want to “discuss what should be done,” an unnamed local chief told local daily The Times, alluding to disagreement among family members over his burial site.

Mandela – whose 95th birthday is on July 18 – has been hospitalised four times since December.

Read: South African archbishop prays for a ‘peaceful end’ for Mandela>

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