Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Mandela still in critical condition

Doctors are doing 'everything possible' to improve Nelson Mandela's condition
Doctors are doing 'everything possible' to improve Nelson Mandela's condition
Former South African President Nelson Mandela, pictured in 2009 during celebrations of the opening of the One&Only Cape Town resort, Sol Kerzner's first hotel in his home country since 1992. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Former South African President Nelson Mandela, pictured in August 2007 by Daniel Berehulak/PA Wire.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela, pictured in 2008 by Johnny Green/PA Wire
Nelson Mandela receives his Queens University Belfast honorary doctorate from Sir Anthony O'Reilly, then chief executive of Independent News and Media PLC, which owns the Belfast Telegraph.
The ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Madela was filmed on April 29, 2013. (AP Photo/SABC TV)
A newspaper seller holds the Sunday Times newspaper with the headline 'It's time to let him go' referring to words spoken by long-time friend of former president Nelson Mandela, Andrew Mlangeni, in Johannesburg. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)
A boy kicks a ball behind a statue of former South African President Nelson Mandela outside the Groot Drakenstein correctional facility near the town of Franschhoek, South Africa, Sunday, June 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)
A stained glass panel inside the Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Soweto, South Africa depicts former president Nelson Mandela during a church service on June 9, when worshippers were urged to pray for Mandela. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)
A worshipper at morning mass at the Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Soweto, Sunday June 9, 2013. Churchgoers were urged to pray for former president Nelson Mandela after he was hospitalized with a recurring lung infection. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)
Avia Nossel with a stone bearing a get-well message, held by her father, outside the home of former president Nelson Mandela, in Johannesburg, on Saturday June 8, 2013. The stone was among others placed outside in flower beds from Mandela's previous hospital spells. (AP Photo)
Worshippers praying for former president Nelson Mandela on a hill overlooking Johannesburg, at sunset, Saturday, June 8, 2013.The news Mandela was in a serious condition in hospital prompted an outpouring of concern from admirers of a man who helped to end white racist rule. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)
Former South African President Nelson Mandela celebrating his 94th birthday with family in Qunu, South Africa, on July 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam-file)
A flower pot with and stones painted and covered in graffiti wishing former South African President Nelson Mandela prompt recovery were set outside his Johannesburg home Monday, June 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Former South African President Nelson Mandela celebrating his 94th birthday with family in Qunu, South Africa, on July 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam-file)
Press gather outside the hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was hospitalized with a recurring lung infection early Saturday, June 8, 2013. A presidential statement said that Mandela was in a serious but stable condition. (AP Photo)
A photo taken in June 2008 of former South African President Nelson Mandela. By Johnny Green/PA Wire
Nelson Mandela's wife Graca Machel, who cancelled an appearance at a hunger summit as her husband was treated in hospital for a lung infection. Photo by Daniel Berehulak/PA Wire
This file picture taken on July 12, 2008 shows former South African President Nelson Mandela sitting at the Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture in Soweto, Johannesburg.
In this 1961 file photo, Nelson Mandela, then a 42-year-old, political activist and an able heavyweight boxer and physical culturist, is seen. The son of a minor chieftain, Mandela took his degree in Law at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.
In this July 4, 1993 photo, President Bill Clinton, left, and Nelson Mandela listen during Fourth of July ceremonies in Philadelphia during which Clinton presented the Philadelphia Liberty Medal to the African National Congress president and South African President F.W. de Klerk.
Springbok captain Francois Pienaar (R) receives the Rugby World Cup from South african President Nelson Mandela at Ellis Park in Johannesburg 24 June 1995.
Former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela chats with Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown during a meeting at his hotel in central London.
Nelson Mandela, 94, is responding to treatment for a lung infection

Critically ill Nelson Mandela was "asleep" when visited by South African president Jacob Zuma who asked the country to pray for the 94-year-old, describing him as the "father of democracy".

Mr Zuma said doctors were doing everything possible to help the former president feel comfortable on his 17th day in a Pretoria hospital, but refused to give details of Mr Mandela's condition, saying: "I'm not a doctor."

Mr Zuma, who previously gave an overly sunny view of Mr Mandela's health, briefly spoke of his visit on Sunday night to the hospital in the Johannesburg. hours.

"It was late, he was already asleep," Zuma said. "And we then had a bit of a discussion with the doctors as well as his wife, Graca Machel, and we left."

The president said South Africans should accept that Mr Mandela is old, and he urged people to pray for their former leader.

"Madiba is critical in the hospital, and this is the father of democracy. This is the man who fought and sacrificed his life to stay in prison, the longest-serving prisoner in South Africa," Mr Zuma said, using Mr Mandela's clan name.

Family members continued with visits to Mr Mandela. They included his former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Monday also marked the 18th anniversary of Mr Mandela's appearance at the 1995 Rugby World Cup final in Johannesburg, a day still enshrined as a hugely significant moment for South Africa.

In a move crucial in unifying sections of a previously fractured society, Mr Mandela wore a green and gold Springboks rugby jersey at the June 24 final in Johannesburg and brought all South Africans together in support of their national team - once an all-white bastion of the apartheid regime and hated by blacks.

He shook hands with and patted the shoulder of the Springboks' captain, Francois Pienaar, after South Africa won a tense final against New Zealand, underlining the new president's dedication to reconciliation.

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