“The old man is very much alive – when I speak to him, he responds” – Nelson Mandela’s Grandson

Nelson Mandela remains critical but stable in the Pretoria hospital, the South African presidency has reported in its first health update for five days.

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South Africa’s first black president, 94, has been in the hospital with a recurring lung infection since 8 June.

In his statement, President Jacob Zuma thanked those gathering in front of the hospital and those who have been supporting Nelson Mandela in and outside South Africa.

Mr Zuma last week rejected claims that Mr Mandela was in a vegetative state.

Outside the Pretoria hospital Mr Mandela’s grandson Ndaba said:

“With less than two weeks to go before the old man’s 95th birthday on 18 July, it’s time to celebrate his life.” The old man is very much alive – when I speak to him, he responds.”

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Nelson Mandela is praised around the globe for his role in the fight against white minority rule in South Africa. After spending 27 years in jail, he was freed and elected president frour years later. He was in power for five years.

Source: BBC News

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