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Mandela centre mum on Madiba reports

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has the told media Madiba’s bedroom resembles an ICU ward.

Nelson Mandela is seen with his family in Qunu in Eastern Cape on 18 June 2011. Picture: Peter Morey/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG – The Nelson Mandela Center of Memory will not be drawn on media reports that the former president is still very ill and unable to speak.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has told the Sunday Independent the former president's bedroom at his home resembles a hospital's ICU ward.

The anti-apartheid icon was hospitalised for more than 50 days earlier this year for a recurring lung infection.

The last statement from the presidency, issued when Madiba was released from hospital stated he was critical but showed sustained improvement.

Madiba’s ex-wife Madikizela-Mandela told the newspaper the icon had lost the use of his voice because of the tubes inserted in his mouth to clear fluid out of his lungs.

Madikizela-Mandela says although Madiba’s pneumonia has cleared, his lungs remain sensitive and that’s why it’s necessary to maintain the tubes.

She says this has however left the former president unable to speak.

She added Madiba communicates with facial expressions but says doctors have told the family he will be able to speak again.

She has refuted speculation that the elderly statesmen is on life support.

It was however understood the 95-year-old was on life support shortly before he had been discharged from hospital.

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