DETERIORATING HEALTH: Nelson Mandela
SOUTH AFRICAN newspapers are preparing readers for bad news as Nelson Mandela spends a fourth day in intensive care.
The former South African President is being treated for a recurrent lung infection at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, which he was taken to on June 8 after his health deteriorated.
Relatives have flown from around the country to be at his bedside.
His eldest daughter Zenani Mandela-Dlamini returned from Argentina, where she is the South African ambassador.
Ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has also travelled to pay a visit.
Over the last couple of days, Mandela’s children and granddaughters have been seen arriving and leaving the hospital.
Yesterday (June 10) daughter Zindzi Mandela was reported saying: “I've seen my father and he is well. He is a fighter.”
Because of the media frenzy surrounding the global icon, security at the hospital security has been increased.
Six uniformed police officers are stopping and searching every vehicle entering the main gate.
The area is now barricaded with tape forcing journalists camped outside to move across the street.
The office of South African President Jacob Zuma said Mandela remains in a serious but stable condition, adding: “President Jacob Zuma reiterates his call for South Africa to pray for Madiba and the family during this time.”
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The foundation led by retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu released a statement describing Mandela as “an extraordinary gift”.
The foundation added: “As the beloved father of our nation, Nelson Mandela once again endures the ravages of time in hospital… Our prayers are for his comfort and his dignity.”
Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years under apartheid and has been prone to respiratory problems after damaging his lungs while working in a prison quarry.
He later contacted tuberculosis on Robben Island.