Zuma visits Mandela, cancels Mozambique trip
27 June 2013, 08:33
Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has cancelled his scheduled trip to
Mozambique after a visit to the critically ill former president Nelson Mandela
in Pretoria's Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria.
The elder statesman was admitted to the hospital with a recurring lung
infection on 8 June.
Zuma's spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, said Zuma had visited Mandela at
"President Zuma was briefed by the doctors who are still doing
everything they can to ensure his [Mandela's] well-being."
Maharaj said Zuma had decided to cancel his visit to Maputo, where he
was due to attend an SADC summit.
A clan elder, Napilisi Mandela, confirmed to AFP that the anti-apartheid
icon was on life support.
"Yes, he is using machines to breathe.
"It is bad, but what can we do."
Zuma left the hospital at 22:15 and was followed by Defence Minister
Maharaj said Zuma had cancelled the trip, scheduled for Thursday, after
he "found him [Mandela] to be still in a critical condition".
Mandela had been visited earlier in the day by his eldest daughter,
Makaziwe, as well as ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Zindzi Mandela as well
as his grandchildren Ndaba and Ndileka Mandela.
More police officers were manning the hospital's entrances on Wednesday
and using mirrors to inspect the undersides of cars entering the premises.
Tshwane metro police officers cordoned off Celliers Street, only letting
in cars of journalists and those of people living in the area.
The country's former surgeon general, Dr Vejay Ramlakan, arrived at the
hospital earlier on Wednesday. He stepped down earlier this year.
He returned in the early
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