Madiba: Condition still critical

Nelson Mandela continues receiving treatment at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital.

Flowers and messages of well wishes posted on the wall at Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria where the former President Nelson Mandela is receiving treatment. Picture: EWN

PRETORIA - The Presidency says regardless of pressure for more regular and detailed updates on Nelson Mandela's health it won't breach the sacred doctor-patient confidentiality.

Madiba remains in a critical condition at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria.

While President Jacob Zuma asked the nation to pray for the global icon, his spokesperson Mac Maharaj dealt with issues of trust between government and media.

He says doctors aren't being brought in to brief journalists because Mandela's privacy and dignity are at stake and the family has agreed there must be one source of information.

"If you want me to acknowledge the special status of Madiba yes, but if you want me to acknowledge patient doctor confidentiality I'm afraid you're asking to breach a rule that exists worldwide."

It's been nearly two days since former President Nelson Mandela's condition turned from serious to critical and the Presidency continues to urge South Africans to pray for the father of the nation.


Following news of the deterioration of his condition on Sunday, several more visitors arrived at the facility to see the 94-year-old.

Visitors included Public Services and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa as well as several of Madiba's grandchildren.

The Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula was accompanied by Madiba's long-time physician Veejay Ramlakan.

Meanwhile, as news of Madiba's deteriorating health spread, historical landmarks associated with Madiba were flooded with visitors.

Brand South Africa Chief Executive Miller Matola has joined the chorus of well-wishes from across the world in wishing Mandela well.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Madiba."

Brand South Africa's offices are next to the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton where security guards are keeping a close eye on who's allowed onto the premises.

At the same time, in Vilakazi Street, Soweto, the Mandela Family Museum was a hive of activity with tourists and locals wanting to learn more about the global icon.


The news of his critical condition has been met with grave concern in Qunu.

Madiba grew up in the Eastern Cape village and had described it as the happiest years of his childhood.

An elderly man with a stick in hand stood across the road from Mandela's retirement home.

There was little activity outside the well-secured house.

"When he leaves Qunu, I get worried."

Another local says she has been praying for the former statesman.

"We love him very much and don't want him to die."

Traditional and church leaders in the region held a mass prayer for the ailing statesman over the weekend at the sacred tribal land known as Bumbane Great Place.