Nelson Mandela Not Vegetative, Says South Africa


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Though former South African president Nelson Mandela is almost certainly nearing death, the exact state of his health is now becoming the subject of scrutiny and rumor. Earlier this week, Mandela's relatives filed court documents over a family disagreement about where Mandela will be buried. The documents stated that Mandela is in a vegetative state, though the wording was later changed to only state the civil rights leader is being "assisted in breathing by a life support machine."

To clear things up, South African President Jacob Zuma this week issued an official statement on Mandela's health. Zuma visited Mandela in a Pretoria hospital on July 4 and reported that Mandela is in "critical, but stable condition." He also emphasized that Mandela's doctors deny he is in a vegetative state. Mandela is receiving round-the-clock care from medical experts. From Zuma's statement:

Former President Mandela has been and remains under the care of a multi-disciplinary panel of South African medical experts drawn from the South Africa Military Health Services, the public sector, the universities and the private sector. Under this panel a team of doctors, nurses, paramedics and other health professionals attend to Madiba on a 24 hour basis.