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Mandela's wife offers update on husband's condition

  • Nelson Mandela's wife Graca Machel made a rare public appearance on Thursday to offer an update on the former South African president's condition.

    Speaking at the launch of Nelson Mandela Sport & Culture Day 2013, Machel said:"Let me say the following. These days, now we are about 25 days we have been in hospital, although Madiba sometimes may be uncomfortable, very few times he is in pain. But he is fine. I think the best gift which he has given to this nation again, is the gift of unity.”

    "The outpouring and the humbling demonstrations of love, of care, of support of hope are taken into our hearts every single day. They are not unnoticed, and it is simply important that we find occasions where we tell every single person who has humbled himself or herself to pray, to focus hearts on Madiba and on us as a family to wish him well, to wish him healing,” she added.

    Mandela, South Africa’s first Black president, was admitted to a Pretoria hospital with a lung infection more than three weeks ago.

    The Nobel Peace Prize winner spent 27 years in jail for leading an anti-apartheid campaign.

    His lungs are said to have been damaged during the time he worked in a prison quarry.

    Mandela is due to mark his 95th birthday on July 18.