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Mandela 'is critical but stable'

Nelson Mandela remains in critical condition, one of his granddaughters said at the hospital where the 94-year-old former South African president is being treated.

The granddaughter, Ndileka Mandela, spoke when she and other family members stepped outside the Pretoria hospital to collect flowers and messages of support that were left outside the building.

Ndileka Mandela also described her grandfather's condition as stable, indicating it had not changed since the government said on Sunday that Mr Mandela's health had deteriorated to a critical state.

She says it has been a difficult situation for the family, especially because they are coping with Mr Mandela's illness in the public eye.

Earlier South African President Jacob Zuma cancelled a visit to Mozambique scheduled for Thursday after visiting Mr Mandela.

A statement from his office says Mr Zuma was briefed by doctors treating Mr Mandela, who was taken to hospital on June 8 with what the government said was a recurring lung infection.

Members of a choir from the Salvation Army prayed and sung outside the hospital on Thursday.

Members of the youth league of the country's ruling party, the African National Congress, were planning prayer meetings to honour Mr Mandela.

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