Mandela still in hospital in critical condition

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Ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela is still in hospital in a critical but stable condition, the South African Presidency said Saturday, denying media reports that the former President had been discharged.

“Madiba (Mandela’s clan name) is still in hospital in Pretoria, and remains in a critical but stable condition. At times his condition becomes unstable, but he responds to medical interventions,” the Presidency said in a statement.

“The Presidency has noted incorrect media reports that former President Nelson Mandela has been discharged from hospital,” the statement said, denying reports that said that Mandela had been discharged from the Pretoria hospital where he is being treated for a recurrent lung infection.

The 95-year-old former democracy hero was hospitalised on June 8 and has since been there.

Mandela had a long history of lung problems, dating back to the time when he was a political prisoner on Robben Island during apartheid. While in jail he contracted tuberculosis.

Mandela is revered for leading the fight against white minority rule in South Africa and then pushing reconciliation despite being imprisoned for 27 years.

Mandela, regarded the founding father of South Africa’s multiracial democracy, served as the country’s first black president from 1994 to 1999. He left power after five years as president.

Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He retired from public life in 2004 and has rarely been seen at official events since.

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