South Africa: Mandela Still 'Critical, but Stable'

Johannesburg — Ailing former president Nelson Mandela is still in a critical, but stable condition, the presidency said on Monday.

"We remind all South Africans to begin planning for Madiba's birthday on 18 July," President Jacob Zuma said in a statement.

"We must all be able to do something good for humanity on this day, in tribute to our former president."

Zuma thanked everyone who had kept Mandela and his family in their thoughts and prayers.

The anti-apartheid icon was admitted to a Pretoria hospital on June 8 with a recurring lung infection.

When he was admitted to hospital, the presidency described his condition as serious, but stable.

However, on June 23, after Zuma and African National Congress deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa visited Mandela, the presidency announced that his condition had deteriorated.

"The condition of former president Nelson Mandela, who is still in hospital in Pretoria, has become critical," spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement at the time.

He said Mandela's doctors had told Zuma and Ramaphosa that his condition had become critical in the past 24 hours.

Zuma visited him again on Wednesday. In an official update on Thursday, the presidency said Mandela's condition had improved, but remained critical, but stable.

After the visit, Zuma cancelled his trip to Mozambique, where he was due to attend a Southern African Development Community infrastructure investment conference.

A steady flow of family members had visited Mandela at the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital, in Pretoria, since his admission.

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