Mandela family denies rumours of emergency meeting

Former president Nelson Mandela. (Gallo)

Former president Nelson Mandela. (Gallo)

The family of critically ill former president Nelson Mandela on Thursday denied rumours of an urgent meeting at his Houghton, Johannesburg home.

"No, I haven't heard anything about that," Mandela's grandson, Mandla Mandela, told Sapa.

Makaziwe Mandela, the former statesman's eldest daughter, declined to comment on the rumours and asked that she not be contacted again for comment.

Outside Mandela's Houghton home, there was no police presence or signs of President Jacob Zuma.

Earlier on Thursday, a court appearance by Nelson Mandela's grandson on gun-related charges was delayed, amid rumours of a family meeting at the critically ill South African hero's home. "He's not appearing tomorrow," Luxolo Tyali, National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson told AFP.

"His lawyers have made arrangements that he presents himself to court on December 12."

Mandela's grandson was due to appear in court on Friday in the Eastern Cape to answer charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and pointing a firearm related to a road incident in October.

'Very strong'
Earlier this week, Makaziwe said her father was still fighting from his "deathbed" and was still "very strong" and "very courageous". 

"Tata is still with us. Very strong, as I said very courageous, even in [sic]... lack of a better word, on his death bed, I think he is still teaching us lessons. Lessons in patience, lessons in love, lessons in tolerance."

"Even when there are moments when you can see he's struggling, but the fighting spirit is still there with him."

Grandson Ndaba told the SABC that Mandela was "not doing well at home in bed" where he been treated since being discharged from a nearly three-month hospital stay for a lung infection earlier this year.

Mandela spent almost three months in hospital after being admitted to the MediClinic Heart Hospital in June with a recurring lung infection. Throughout his hospital stay, the presidency reported that he was in a critical but stable condition. Mandela was discharged in September and has been receiving home-based medical treatment.

President Jacob Zuma visited Mandela at his Houghton home on November 18, after which his spokesperson, Mac Maharaj said: "The health of the former president remains much the same as it was when President Zuma last visited him, which is stable but critical, while Madiba continues to respond to treatment."

Maharaj told AFP on Thursday: "My last update stands". – Sapa, AFP

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