[QODLink]
Africa

Report: Mandela in permanent vegetative state

Court documents obtained by AFP reveal anti-apartheid icon's family advised to turn off life support machine.

Last Modified: 04 Jul 2013 19:02
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The South African presidency still maintains that former President Mandela is critical but stable [Reuters]

Doctors treating Nelson Mandela have said the anti-apartheid icon was in a "permanent vegetative state" and advised his family to turn off his life support machine a week ago, according to court documents obtained by the AFP news agency.

"He is in a permanent vegetative state and is assisted in breathing by a life support machine," said the court filing dated June 26.

"Rather than prolonging his suffering, the Mandela family is exploring this option as a very real probability," read a filing from the family's lawyer, relating to a dispute over the final resting place of South Africa's first democractically elected black president.

Since the document was written, the government, family members and people visiting Mandela have reported his condition has improved.

"He is clearly a very ill man, but he was conscious and he tried to move his mouth and eyes when I talked to him," Denis Goldberg, one of the men who was convicted with Mandela, told AFP after visiting him on Monday.

"He is definitely not unconscious," he said adding that "he was aware of  who I was."

Goldberg said he was asked by Mandela's wife Graca Machel to pay him a visit "just to give him mental stimulation".

President Jacob Zuma's spokesman Mac Maharaj refused to comment on the documents. 

"We don't have a comment on that," Maharaj told AFP, citing doctor-patient confidentiality.

"We have indicated from our point of view that based on the doctors' report the condition of the former president is critical but stable at this stage."

Mandela's wife earlier on Thursday said that while occasionally the former president has been uncomfortable during his nearly one month hospital stay, he has seldom been in pain.

"Now we are about 25 days we have been in hospital," Machel said, giving thanks for the outpouring of well wishes from around the world for the Nobel peace laureate.

"Although Madiba sometimes may be uncomfortable, very few times he is in pain," she said.

The former president, who turns 95 later this month, was rushed to hospital on June 8 with a recurring lung infection.

352

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.