The latest media reports say that the former President of South Africa may have no hope of recovery. For weeks, the presidency has told South Africans and, through the media, the international community that former President Nelson Mandela is in a “critical but stable condition” at the Pretoria Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital. However, AFP revealed court documents that were filed on 26 June and provide saddening insight into the health of the man that millions of people have been praying for in the last month. A previous controversial media report that was denied by the presidency said that the doctors had declared Nelson Mandela brain dead on 22 June.
Court documents related to the Mandela burial site dispute that was in the headlines recently state that the family had been advised by doctors at the Pretoria Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital to grant medical staff permission to turn off the machines that are “assisting” the ailing statesman with his breathing. According to the documents, Nelson Mandela is in a “permanent vegetative state”. This may be the main reason for the urgent interdict against Mandla Mandela to return the remains of Mandela family members to Qunu where Nelson Mandela had said he would want to be buried with his children.
This comes after the family had released a statement saying that Nelson Mandela was not completely dependent on the machines. The family specifically said that the life support system was effective in “assisting” him with his troubled breathing.
The date mentioned in the court documents coincides with the date on which President Jacob Zuma returned from Mozambique. On 27 June, a few days after the doctors had allegedly told the family that Mandela was in a “permanent vegetative state”, President Zuma took to the podium and said: “He is much better today than he was when I saw him last night. The medical team continues to do a sterling job.”
The presidency has been accused of not being forthcoming about Nelson Mandela and his hospital admission. President Jacob Zuma and the spokesperson for the presidency Mac Maharaj have repeatedly used the words “critical”, “serious” and “stable” when giving updates about Mandela. Last week, the public was asked to only rely on the presidency and no other source for Nelson Mandela health updates.
The presidency and the Mandela family have yet to respond to these disturbing reports. According to the last update from the presidency and the family, former President Nelson Mandela, the ‘Father of the Nation’ remains in a “critical but stable condition” and is “assisted” by life support machines at the Pretoria Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital.