Report: Nelson Mandela on life support

June 26, 2013 at 8:06 PM
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PRETORIA, South Africa, June 26 (UPI) -- A relative of Nelson Mandela told Britain's The Daily Telegraph the 94-year-old former South African president is on life support at a Pretoria hospital.

"Yes, he is using machines to breathe," clan member Napilisi Mandela told the newspaper after visiting Mandela. "It is bad, but what can we do."

A leading cleric earlier joined Mandela's family members at the hospital where he was listed in critical condition.

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba called for "a quiet night and a peaceful, perfect end" for the former leader, CNN reported Wednesday.

The anti-apartheid icon has been hospitalized in Pretoria since June 8 for a recurring lung infection.

"Former President Nelson Mandela's condition remains unchanged in hospital and doctors continue to do their best to insure his recovery, well-being and comfort," said a government statement issued Tuesday night.

"When it is his time, we wish his soul could just rest," said Kuda Nyahumzi, 36, "He spent so long in jail and struggling."

Well-wishers have hung balloons, stuffed animals and messages of support along a wall outside the hospital.

Mandela, whose 95th birthday is next month, was elected South Africa's first black president in 1994, four years after he was freed from prison.

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