Mandela sinking, world prays

Former South African President Nelson Mandela is still “clinging to life”, his elder daughter Makaziwe said Thursday, criticising foreign media “vultures” for violating his privacy as he lay critically ill in hospital.
Anxiety increased over the 94-year-old anti-apartheid legend’s faltering health. Late Wednesday, President Jacob Zuma’s government reported a downturn in Mr Mandela’s condition after three weeks of treatment for a lung infection. This forced Mr Zuma to cancel his visit to a summit in Mozambique on Thursday.
But Mr Zuma paid a second visit in 24 hours to Mr Mandela Thursday and was told by doctors he had improved overnight. “He is much better today than he was when I saw him last night,” Mr Zuma said. His office said Mr Mandela remains “critical, but is now stable”. “I won’t lie, it doesn’t look good,” Mr Mandela’s daughter Makaziwe said after visiting her father. “But as I say, if we speak to him, he responds and tries to open his eyes. He’s still there”.
She angrily criticised the “bad taste” of foreign media which she said was intruding on her family’s privacy. “It’s truly like vultures waiting when the lion has devoured the buffalo, waiting there for the last of the carcass. That’s the image we have as a family,” she said. Speaking in Senegal, the first stop on an Africa tour, US President Barack Obama said his thoughts and prayers were with the Mandela family. Mr Mand-ela, he said, was a “personal hero” of his, and said: “Even if he passes on, his legacy will linger on.”

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