JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa’s former president, Nelson Mandela, remains “quite ill” and unable to speak because of tubes that are keeping his lungs clear of fluid, though he is relaxed, his former wife told a South African newspaper.
“He remains very sensitive to any germs, so he has to be kept literally sterile. The bedroom there (in his suburban Johannesburg home) is like an ICU ward,” Winnie Madikizela-Mandela told the Sunday Independent. “He is 95 years old and it is difficult for him, because of all the tubes that are in his mouth to clear the (fluid from his) lungs, and prevent an infection recurring.” Because of those tubes, she said, he communicates through his face.
“But the doctors have told us they hope he will be able to recover his voice,” she said, adding that he is being treated by 22 doctors at his home.
Mandela’s former wife shot down reports that the former anti-apartheid leader and Nobel Peace prize winner was on life support.
“I have heard this nonsense that he is on life support. He is not,” she told the newspaper. When asked if he was peaceful, she said, “Very. When he is very relaxed, he is fine,” adding that it helps he is at his home, an environment that he recognizes.
Mandela has been in intensive medical care at his Johannesburg home since being discharged on Sept. 1 after nearly three months in a hospital for a recurring lung infection.
Madikizela-Mandela’s comments come days before the release of the film based on Mandela’s autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom” and which stars British actor Idris Elba. Madikizela-Mandela, 77, published a book of her prison diaries earlier this year entitled “491 Days: Prisoner number 1323/69.”
“Of course, I wish he could read the book, but I really wish he could see the film,” she said.
Madikizela-Mandela and Mandela divorced in 1996.
Mandela served a single five-year term as president of South Africa and afterward he focused on charitable causes, including the fight against HIV/AIDS. He withdrew from public life years ago. Mandela’s last public appearance was in 2010 at the World Cup soccer tournament, which was hosted by South Africa. At that time, bundled against the cold, he waved but did not speak to the stadium full of fans.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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