Former president Nelson Mandela is getting stronger, his grandson Mandla Mandela has said after a weekend visit.
“The visit left me with a warm feeling, because my grandfather is getting stronger and stronger every day,” he said today.
The improvement “is particularly heartening, because it flies in the face of those who have been busy spreading lies that Madiba is in a ‘vegetative state’ and just waiting for his [life] support machines to be switched off.
“Madiba has defied these hurtful statements and continues to prove his fighting spirit that has defined him over the many years of his life,” Mandela said in a statement released on his grandfather’s 44th day in hospital.
He visited his grandfather at the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital, in Pretoria, on Sunday. Nelson Mandela’s daughter Zenani Mandela also visited on Sunday.
The anti-apartheid icon was critically ill with a lung infection when he was admitted to hospital early on June 8, after his ambulance broke down on the way there. He spent his 95th birthday in hospital last week.
A steady stream of support has been kept up for the anti-apartheid icon and his family, by visitors who leave flowers, cards and candles at the entrance to the hospital, and at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg.
The presidency, which provides updates from time to time, has also said he is steadily improving.
Mandla Mandela said he attended a prayer service arranged by the AbaThembu in Kwa-Zulu Natal at the Ethekwini Community Church on Sunday.
He said he was grateful for the overwhelming messages of support from South Africans and around the world.
“We continue to be grateful to the South African government, the African National Congress… and the doctors in charge of Madiba’s health during this period.”
He and some of Nelson Mandela’s descendants are in a court dispute over the reburial of the remains of some of the anti-apartheid icon’s children and grandchildren.
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