Nelson Mandela is being kept alive by a breathing machine and faces “impending death”, a South African court documents reveal.
Nelson Mandela’s health is “perilous”, according to documents filed in the court case that resulted in the remains of his three deceased children being reburied Thursday in their original graves.
Court documents from June 26 said: “The anticipation of his impending death is based on real and substantial grounds.”
Nelson Mandela, who was hospitalized on June 8, remains in critical but stable condition, according to the office of President Jacob Zuma, who visited the anti-apartheid leader on Thursday.
The South African presidency has denied that Nelson Mandela is in a “vegetative state”, and reiterated former statements that the beloved former leader is in a critical, but stable condition.
The Presidency released a statement “clarifying” Nelson Mandela’s condition, Sky News reported.
They said: “We confirm our earlier statement released … after President Jacob Zuma visited Madiba in hospital.”
Nelson Mandela is under around-the-clock care of a team of nurses, the presidency said, hours after the sensational court reports were revealed.
The documents read: “They say the condition of the country’s first black president is <<perilous>>.”
“The anticipation of his impending death is based on real and substantial grounds,” they add.
The legal papers relate to a bitter legal battle between rival family factions over where Nelson Mandela should be buried.
After examining him last week, the doctors wrote: “He is in a permanent vegetative state and is assisted in breathing by a life support machine.”
Medically, this means he is unresponsive and in a state between coma and death.
“He’s basically gone,” said Charlene Smith, Nelson Mandela’s authorized biographer.
The statements come as the remains of the 94-year-old’s three deceased children were reburied at their original resting site following a court order to return them after Mandla Mandela moved the bodies.
It comes as the feud between Nelson Mandela’s family descended into soap opera farce today when his grandson and heir Mandla accused relatives of adultery and milking the fame of the revered anti-apartheid leader.
In a news conference broadcast live on TV that stunned South Africans, Mandla Mandela confirmed rumors that his young son, Zanethemba, was in fact the child of an illicit liaison between his brother Mbuso and Mandla’s now ex-wife Anais Grimaud.
With Nelson Mandela on life-support in a Pretoria hospital, the escalating feud has transfixed and appalled South Africa in equal measure.
“Mbuso impregnated my wife,” Mandla Mandela said in Mvezo, the Eastern Cape village 450 miles)south of Johannesburg where Nelson Mandela was born and where Mandla serves as the formal chief of the clan.
Mandla Mandela, 39, first raised questions about his son’s paternity last year when he split from French-speaking Anais Grimaud, who has since moved back home to the Indian Ocean island of Reunion. He also revealed then that he was unable to have children.
His attempts to get the family to address the questions of Zanethemba’s paternity had been rebuffed in the interests of preserving a semblance of unity in South Africa’s most famous family, Mandla Mandela said.
“This matter has never been discussed by the so-called members of the family who say that they want to ensure there is harmony in this family,” he said, challenging reporters to conduct DNA tests to confirm his allegations.
“The facts are there. You may go and find out, do the necessary tests that are needed,” he said. His brother Mbuso has denied being the father of the child.
Newspapers have plastered “Mandela vs. Mandela” headlines across their front pages and editorials have bemoaned the cruel irony of bitter divisions inside the family of a man lauded the world over as the epitome of reconciliation between races.
The government said that Nelson Mandela remained “critical but stable” after nearly four weeks in hospital.
The sleepy community of Mvezo, set amid the rolling hills of the Eastern Cape, has been at the centre of a vicious dispute that may ultimately determine where South Africa’s first black president will be laid to rest.