Mandela seldom in pain – wife

Agence France-Presse
Nelson Mandela's wife says he has been uncomfortable but seldom in pain

WELL WISHES. Supporters amassed outside the Pretoria hospital where the 94-year-old anti-apartheid hero was fighting for his life. AFP / Filippo Monteforte

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – During a nearly one month battle for his life in hospital, ailing South African icon Nelson Mandela has occasionally been uncomfortable but has seldom been in pain, his wife Graca Machel said Thursday, July 4.

“Now we are about 25 days we have been in hospital,” Machel said, giving thanks for the outpouring of well wishes from around the world for the Nobel peace laureate.

“Although Madiba sometimes may be uncomfortable, very few times he is in pain,” she said using Mandela’s clan name.

The former president, who turns 95 later this month, was rushed to hospital on June 8 with a recurring lung infection.

He has since been on life support, but during the last week his condition is said to have stabilized.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” said Machel, launching the latest in a series of events to mark Mandela’s life.

“The outpouring and humbling demonstrations of love, of care, of support, of hope are taken into our hearts every single day.”

“We thank you very deeply.”

Amid an increasingly bitter family feud — involving allegations of adultery, grave tampering and siblings born out of wedlock — Machel said Mandela’s example could serve as a beacon for unity for the country.

“While he lies in hospital, he offered an opportunity for all of us again to be united,” Machel said.

‘Critical but stable’ 

Mandela “remains critical but stable”, South African President Jacob Zuma said Thursday after visiting the ailing anti-apartheid icon.

Zuma indicated there was no change in the 94-year-old’s condition in recent days, in a statement from his office.

“The former President remains critical but stable. President Zuma thanked the nation and the international community for their continued support,” the statement said.

“We appreciate all the love and compassion. Madiba is receiving the best medical care from a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals who are at his bedside around the clock,” said Zuma. – 


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