Former South African President Nelson Mandela is believed to be on life support as he remains in a critical condition in a Pretoria hospital, according to a report on Wednesday.
The Citizen spoke to “five highly-placed sources close to the family” who confirmed that Mandela is “breathing with the assistance of a life support ventilator”. Two of the unnamed sources had recently been to visit him in hospital.
The former president is also believed to be undergoing renal dialysis as he is suffering from kidney failure.
“He is on a ventilation life support and his kidney function is very low. He is critical, but has a entire team of doctors, from a cardiac specialist, pulmonary specialist, kidney specialist and a main consultant looking after him,” the source told The Citizen.
The family has reportedly been given the option to switch off the life support machines.
This could not be confirmed by the family or the presidency, which released a statement on Tuesday saying Mandela’s condition was unchanged.
Members of the family gathered at Mandela’s home in Qunu in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday for a family meeting. Family friend Bantu Holomisa told the Mail & Guardian on Wednesday that the meeting was held to “brief the elders about Mandela’s condition” and that funeral arrangements were not discussed.
Meanwhile, Mandela’s daughter Zindzi told US TV network NBC News on Tuesday that her father “opened his eyes and gave me a smile” when she told him that US President Barack Obama was coming to South Africa.