Sunday, April 18

‘Stable but critical’ Mandela responds to treatment


MURAL OF MANDELA: A person walks pass a mural painting of Mandela in Cape Town as ‘the health of the former President remains much the same,’ according to a statement issued after South Africa President visited the anti-apartheid icon at his home. — AFP photo

JOHANNESBURG: Nelson Mandela remains in a “stable but critical” condition, but “continues to respond to treatment”, the South African government said in its first update on his health since September.

“The health of the former president remains much the same,” according to a statement issued after President Jacob Zuma visited the anti-apartheid icon at his home Monday.

The 95-year-old was receiving intensive care at home after being discharged from hospital on September 1 after a nearly three-month stay for a lung infection.

The government has largely refused to give details about Mandela’s condition, citing the need for privacy, but said “he continues to recover”.

Mandela’s oldest grandson, Mandla Mandela, who visited the former statesman on Sunday, said he found him in a “good state”.

“He is still progressing steadily but very much under a critical condition,” Mandla Mandela told reporters.

Mandela’s former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela this week told a local newspaper that he remains “quite ill” and is unable to speak because of tubes being used to clear his lungs of liquid.

He is using facial expressions to communicate, Madikizela-Mandela added.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner is under the care of 22 doctors. While his pneumonia has cleared, his lungs remain sensitive, she said, adding that it was “difficult for him”.

“He remains very sensitive to any germs, so he has to be kept literally sterile. The bedroom there is like an ICU (intensive care unit) ward,” she told the Sunday Times. — AFP