5 December 2013

South Africa: Flurry of Activity After Reports That Mandela 'Not Doing Well'

Johannesburg — Local and international media gathered outside the house of former president Nelson Mandela on Thursday following reports that an urgent family meeting had been called at his Johannesburg residence.

Earlier, media reports stated that two of Mandela's granddaughters and close family friend Bantu Holomisa were seen entering the house.

The Mandela family, however, have denied that a gathering was called.

"No, I haven't heard anything about that," Mandela's grandson, Mandla Mandela, told Sapa earlier.

Makaziwe Mandela, the former statesman's eldest daughter, declined to comment on the rumours and asked that she not be contacted again for comment.

News agency AFP earlier reported that Mandla Mandela would no longer appear in court on Friday, amid the rumours of the family gathering.

Mandla Mandela's case on a gun-related charge had been postponed to December 12.

Speaking to the SABC earlier this week, Makaziwe and Mandela's grandson Ndaba, said the global icon was not doing well.

"Tata is still with us. Very strong, as I said very courageous, even in [sic]... lack of a better word, on his death bed, I think he is still teaching us lessons. Lessons in patience, lessons in love, lessons in tolerance," said Makaziwe Mandela.

Ndaba Mandela said: "He is still with us. Although he is not doing well at home in bed."

Mandela spent almost three months in hospital after being admitted to the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in June with a recurring lung infection.

Throughout his hospital stay, the Presidency reported that he was in a critical but stable condition.

Mandela was discharged in September and was receiving home-based medical treatment.

President Jacob Zuma visited Mandela at his Houghton home on November 18, after which his spokesman, Mac Maharaj said: "The health of the former president remains much the same as it was when President Zuma last visited him, which is stable but critical, while Madiba continues to respond to treatment."

Maharaj told AFP on Thursday: "My last update stands".

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