South Africa’s President To Visit Ailing Nelson Mandela

Source: Robyn Dixon / Los Angeles Times

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — South African President Jacob Zuma will visit the ailing Nelson Mandela in a Pretoria hospital, his spokesman said Monday, adding that this would be done discreetly “at the appropriate time.”

A statement from the president’s office earlier in the day reported no improvement in Mandela’s condition. The country’s beloved former president remains in a serious but stable condition as he is treated for a lung infection, the statement said.

“[Zuma’s] focus now is to allow the medical team every opportunity to concentrate on their job, to allow the closest relatives to go there and be close to him,” presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj told reporters. “As head of state, President Zuma will visit at the appropriate time. We just want Madiba to get better,” he said, referring to Mandela by his clan name.

Family members, including Mandela’s former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, visited him Monday as he spent his third day under intensive care in a Pretoria hospital. Madikizela-Mandela left late Monday evening.

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