Mandela’s condition remains serious but stable, says Zuma’s office
Former president’s daughters and ex-wife Winnie visit hospital
Police search cars as security is stepped up outside a Pretoria hospital where former South African president Nelson Mandela is being treated. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters Police search cars as security is stepped up outside a Pretoria hospital where former South African president Nelson Mandela is being treated. Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters
Nelson Mandela remains in a serious but stable condition, according to President Jacob Zuma’s office in its latest statement on the health of the former South African president.
It said Mr Zuma had been given a thorough briefing about the recurring lung infection that has kept Mr Mandela in hospital for five nights.
“President Zuma has full confidence in the medical team and is satisfied that they are doing their best to make Madiba [Mr Mandela’s clan name] better,” the statement said.
In the absence of further reported developments, a general sense of foreboding hung over South Africa’s population about Mr Mandela’s prospects of recovering again from an ailment that has plagued him over the past 12 months.
Cards and messages of support have poured into the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria where Mr Mandela is believed to be, as well as to his Johannesburg home, where media representatives remain camped outside.
Two of Mr Mandela’s daughters, Makaziwe and Zenani, were seen arriving at the clinic yesterday. His ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela also visited the clinic, arriving with her daughter Zindzi after 3pm. The visit to see her former husband was Ms Madikizela-Mandela’s second in two days.
All vehicles entering the hospital premises were being checked and searched by police, who have cordoned off the area, forcing the media to remain across the road from the clinic’s two entrances.
A statement issued by Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Foundation on Monday evening called Mr Mandela “the beloved father of our nation” and offered prayers for him.
Mr Mandela “once again endures the ravages of time in hospital,” it said.
“We offer our thanks to God for the extraordinary gift of Mr Mandela, and wish his family strength.”
This is the third time since the beginning of the year that Mr Mandela has been hospitalised.
At the end of March and in April he spent nine days in hospital receiving treatment.
His lung infection dates back to his time as a prisoner on Robben Island near Cape Town, where he contracted tuberculosis. Freed in 1990, he was elected president in 1994.