South Africas ailing peace icon Nelson Mandela has been put on a life-support system following deterioration of his health,three weeks after the 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader was hospitalised with a recurring lung infection.
Mandela is on life support in the Pretoria Heart Clinic where he has been fighting a recurrent lung infection since June 8, The Citizen newspaper reported Wednesday.
According to newspaper,five highly-placed sources close to the family,including two who had recently visited Mandela in hospital,said the leaders health has deteriorated to the point where he is breathing with the assistance of a life support ventilator.
A source told the Times daily that Mandela is suffering from kidney failure and is undergoing renal dialysis for three hours every second day. He is critical,but has an entire team of doctors and consultant looking after him, the source said,adding the doctors have given the family the option to switch off the life support machines.
As the country remained on edge,Congress of Traditional Leaders president Phathekile Holomisa said Mandelas critical condition is cause for great concern. If it was up to him,hed ask the Creator to make a quick decision on the international icons life,state broadcaster SABC quoted Holomisa as saying.
Though there was no official update on Mandelas condition Wednesday,the SABC report said adding that only Mandelas personal physician V J Ramlakan has been seen entering the premises of the hospital. No family members or government officials visited him.
A meeting was called Tuesday by Mandelas eldest daughter Makaziwe at his ancestral home in Qunu in the Eastern Cape province during which it was decided that that the elders and Mandelas confidantes would visit him at the hospital.
The Afrikaans daily Beeld reported that two hours after the Mandela family meeting,a grave-digging machine was parked near the proposed graveyard where Mandela is likely to be buried.