Johannesburg - Former president Nelson Mandela is believed
to be on life support as he remains in a critical
condition in a Pretoria hospital, according to a report on Wednesday.
The Citizen spoke to "five highly-placed sources close
to the family" who confirmed that Mandela is "breathing with the assistance
of a life support ventilator". Two of the unnamed sources had recently
been to visit him in hospital.
The former president is also believed to be undergoing renal
dialysis as he is suffering from kidney failure.
"He is on a ventilation life support and his kidney
function is very low. He is critical, but has a entire team of doctors, from a
cardiac specialist, pulmonary specialist, kidney specialist and a main
consultant looking after him," the source told The Citizen.
The family has reportedly been given the option to switch
off the life support machines.
This could not be confirmed by the family or the presidency,
which released a statement on Tuesday saying Mandela's condition was unchanged.
Members of the family gathered at Mandela's home in Qunu in
the Eastern Cape on Tuesday for a family meeting. Family friend Bantu Holomisa
told the Mail & Guardian on Wednesday that the meeting was held to "brief
the elders about Mandela's condition" and that funeral arrangements were
Meanwhile, Mandela's daughter Zindzi told US TV network NBC
News on Tuesday that her father "opened his eyes and gave me a smile"
when she told him that US President Barack Obama was coming to South Africa.