Mandela update: Condition remains 'unchanged'

File photograph of Nelson Mandela. (Gallo)

File photograph of Nelson Mandela. (Gallo)

"Former president Nelson Mandela remains in hospital, and his condition is unchanged. Madiba was admitted on Saturday, June 8 2013, for treatment in a Pretoria hospital for a lung infection. President Jacob Zuma reiterates his call for South Africa to pray for Madiba and the family during this time," the presidency said on Monday morning.

This was the first update in more than 48 hours since the presidency announced on Saturday morning that the former statesman was in a "serious but stable" condition after being admitted to hospital that morning.

Meanwhile, the Star newspaper on Monday reported that the Mandela family had taken charge of the 94-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner's hospital stay.

Under the headline "Mandela Lockdown", the Star reported "that the [Mandela] family have barred everyone – including government leaders and senior party officials – from visiting the ailing icon". 

ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said on Monday the ANC did not know about ruling party officials reportedly being banned from visiting Mandela in hospital.

Media camp-out
After gathering on Saturday, the media continued camping outside Madiba's house in Houghton, Johannesburg, and a Pretoria hospital on Monday morning.

About 12 journalists and eight cameras were stationed across the road from Mandela's Houghton house.

There were still messages of support on stones surrounding plants outside Mandela's home from his previous hospital stay earlier this year.

In Pretoria, numerous reporters and photographers were monitoring the two entrances to the hospital where he was believed to have been admitted.

Some passers-by enquired from the journalists how Mandela was doing.

Motlanthe spotted at the hospital
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was spotted at the hospital on Saturday but his spokesperson Thabo Masebe said he was there for his own doctor's appointment and not to see Mandela.

Mandela has been in and out of hospital recently.

At the end of March and in April this year he spent nine days in hospital receiving treatment for recurring lung problems.

Earlier in March, he was admitted to a Pretoria hospital for a scheduled check-up and was discharged the following day.

In December last year, Mandela underwent an operation to remove gallstones and treat the lung infection. He was discharged after an 18-day stay and placed under home-based high care at his Houghton home.

In January, the presidency said Mandela had made a full recovery from the surgery and continued to improve. In February last year he was admitted to hospital for a stomach ailment.

Reports of his death
In January 2011, a virtual void of information marked Mandela's admission to Johannesburg specialist care Milpark Hospital. With very little information to go on at that time, speculation was rife and reports of his death started running on social networks.

Finally, on January 28, Motlanthe and surgeon general Vejaynand Ramlakan addressed a media briefing on his health.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation, which customarily managed publicity for Mandela, only broke its silence on Monday, January 31 2011.

This was after then Sunday Independent editor Makhudu Sefara wrote a piece called "The making of an unnecessary crisis".

In it he said Mandela had a collapsed lung and that the foundation’s spokesperson Sello Hatang lied when he said that hospitalisation was routine.

Sefara later withdrew the statement about the lung and the comment that Hatang was a liar. – Sapa, staff reporter

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