South African president says doctors are doing every thing possible for ailing anti-apartheid icon's well-being.

South African President Jacob Zuma has said that the health of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela "remains in a critical condition".

Speaking to journalists in Johannesburg on Monday, Zuma said that doctors were "doing everything possible" to ensure the 94-year-old's well-being and comfort on his 17th day in a hospital in capital Pretoria.

Zuma visited Mandela at the hospital on Sunday evening and was informed by the medical team that the former president's condition had become critical in the past 24 hours.

A statement by the presidency following the hospital visit said: "President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by ANC Deputy President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, visited the former President this evening, 23 June in hospital. They were briefed by the medical team who informed them that the former President's condition had become critical over the past 24 hours."

In Sunday's statement, Zuma also discussed the government's acknowledgement a day earlier that an ambulance carrying Mandela to the Pretoria hospital two weeks ago had engine trouble, requiring the former president to be transferred to another ambulance for his journey.

Zuma said that in that incident, "all care was taken to ensure that his medical condition was not compromised".

He also dismissed media reports that Mandela had suffered a heart attack, saying: "There is no truth at all in that report''.

Al Jazeera's Tania Page, reporting from Johannesburg, said that while people in South Africa were very conscious that Mandela was frail, many said they still loved him and needed him.

"People are getting used to the idea that one day, perhaps soon, he will not be with them. It won't be a surprise that his condition has deteriotated ... But [his death] will nonetheless still come as a shock to South Africans," she said.

Mandela, who became South Africa's first black president after the end of apartheid in 1994, was hospitalised on June 8 for what the government said was a recurring lung infection.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2013/06/201362320023466697.html

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Comment by Napoleon Bonaparte on June 28, 2013 at 6:25pm

Obama in S Africa as Mandela 'improves'

US President Barack Obama has arrived in South Africa to pay homage to his hero Nelson Mandela, who was said to be showing "great improvement" in hospital.

Mandela's strengthening health after several difficult days raised the possibility of a meeting between the two men, who shattered racial boundaries on either side of the Atlantic.

Before he touched down in Pretoria late Friday, Obama indicated he would defer to Mandela's family about whether to visit the ailing anti-apartheid icon.

"I do not need a photo op. The last thing I want to do is to be in any way obtrusive," Obama said aboard Air Force One.

"I think that the message we'll want to deliver is not directly to him but to his family, is simply profound gratitude for his leadership all these years," he added.

Mandela, who turns 95 next month, has been in intensive care for three weeks for a recurrent lung disease dating from his years in apartheid-era prisons.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2013/06/201362843434299610.html

Comment by Napoleon Bonaparte on June 24, 2013 at 8:05am

Struggle hero Frank Chikane discusses his concerns about South Africa after Mandela.

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