Nelson Mandela remains in a critical, yet stable condition in a Pretoria hospital to treat a recurring lung infection as his family feuds over the burial site of his children.
Mandela’s grandson, Mandla, thanked the medical staff who have been treating the nation’s first black president since June 8 and people who have prayed for the 94-year-old’s recovery, according to comments broadcast on eNCA News. Mandla spoke a day after losing a court bid to stop his relatives moving the remains of three family members to Mandela’s home village of Qunu from Mvezo, where Mandla is a chief.
“My grandfather continues to be stable while in a critical state,” Mandla said. “We can hope and focus on his speedy recovery. At this hour, the focus is on what matters the most, being with my grandfather.”
Mandela, who spent 27 years in prison for opposing minority, all-white rule, has been hospitalized four times since December. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for peaceful opposition to apartheid and became the country’s president a year later when the African National Congress won the first all-race elections. Mandela stepped down after a five-year term.
Mandela is “sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes he is in pain, but he is fine,” his wife Graca Machel said, EWN reported today. President Jacob Zuma said in an e-mailed statement Mandela is receiving the “best medical care” after visiting him today.
Mandla is in a dispute with other family members over where the bodies of the Mandelas should be buried. The remains of three of Mandela’s children from his first marriage were exhumed yesterday and will be reburied in Qunu, eNCA reported. Other family members say Mandla moved the bodies to Mvezo without their knowledge in 2011, according to City Press newspaper.
Some of his relatives are using the graves to punish him for not siding with them in a lawsuit to remove lawyers George Bizos and Bally Chuene and Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale as directors of two companies Mandela set up, Mandla said today.
Makaziwe Mandela and Zenani Dlamini, two of Mandela’s daughters, have said that the directors “no longer enjoy the support of almost all the beneficiaries” of the Mandela Trust that owns the companies, according to court papers.
The daughters want the directors to quit “to facilitate the distribution of monies in those two companies’ bank accounts to them and other family members,” Cheune wrote in response.