Monday, 24 June 2013

Mandela 'asleep' when I visited him- Zuma

President Jacob Zuma today told the world that  Nelson Mandela's condition in a Pretoria hospital remained critical for a second straight day on Monday
 Zuma who visited Mandela Sunday  night  said the former president was "asleep" when he visited him

 Speaking at press conference in Johannesburg Zuma told at least 60 foreign and South African journalists that doctors are doing everything possible to ensure the 94-year-old's wellbeing and comfort on his 17th day in the hospital.

He repeated some of the content of a presidential statement issued on Sunday and refused to give any details about Mandela's condition, saying: "I'm not a doctor."

"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. He is one of those who has contributed to democracy," Zuma said.

"All of us in the country should accept the fact that Madiba is now old. As he ages, his health will ... trouble him and I think what we need to do as a country is to pray for him."
Zuma, who in the past has given an overly sunny view of Mandela's health, briefly described his visit to the hospital and seeing Mandela.

"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."

Mandela was hospitalised on 8 June for what the government said was a recurring lung infection. This is his fourth hospitalisation since December

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