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Mandela's condition deteriorates, critical

24 June 2013, 06:58

Pretoria - The condition of former president Nelson Mandela, who is being treated in the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, has become critical.

Mandela, now a frail 94-year-old, was previously said to be in a serious but stable condition.

Mandela was hospitalised on 8 June for what the government said was a recurring lung infection.

President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by ANC deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, visited the former president in hospital on Sunday, Zuma's spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, said.

They were briefed by the medical team who informed them that the former president’s condition had become critical over the past 24 hours.

Zuma and Ramaphosa also met with Mandela's wife, Graça Machel, at the hospital and discussed Madiba’s condition, Maharaj said.

"The doctors are doing everything possible to get his condition to improve and are ensuring that Madiba is well-looked after and is comfortable. He is in good hands," said Zuma.

He appealed to the nation and the world to pray for Madiba, the family and the medical team that is attending to him during this difficult time.

Zuma in the statement also discussed the government's acknowledgement a day earlier that an ambulance carrying Mandela to the hospital had broken down, requiring the former president to be transferred to another ambulance for his journey to the hospital.

"There were seven doctors in the convoy who were in full control of the situation throughout the period.

"He had expert medical care," Zuma said.

"The fully equipped military ICU ambulance had a full complement of specialist medical staff including intensive care specialists and ICU nurses.

"The doctors also dismissed the media reports that Madiba suffered cardiac arrest. There is no truth at all in that report," Zuma said.


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