Nelson Mandela confirmed to be on life support
Former South African President and anti-apartheid figurehead Nelson Mandela is now on life support in a Pretoria hospital, an elder from his clan has confirmed.
Mandela who is due to celebrate his 95th birthday on 18th July was hospitalised on June 8 for a recurring lung infection. Since last Sunday the authorities have described his condition as critical.
The South Africa’s national news agency has reported that Mandela is now relying on life support machines to breathe.
After visiting the 94-year- old Nobel Peace laureate late Wednesday night, the South African President Jacob Zuma has cancelled his visit to Mozambique where he was supposed to attend a summit on infrastructure investment.
In a statement released on Tuesday the South African government said: “Mandela’s doctors continue to do their best to ensure his recovery, well-being and comfort.”
Well wishers have gathered in numbers together lighting candles, writing messages, placing balloons and flowers outside the hospital’s main entrance where he remains in critical condition. A prayer was also read out by the Cape Town archbishop Thabo Makgoba to wish their “Madiba,” as he is lovingly called by his people, a “peaceful and perfect end”.
The prayer read: “Grant Madiba eternal healing and relief from pain and suffering.”
The archbishop’s prayer seems to echo a growing feeling of inevitability around the deterioration in Mandela’s condition, something that is increasingly voiced by South Africans to whom Mandela remains a father figure and a hero, even though he retired from public life a decade ago.