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Mandela still critical as family gathers in ancestral home

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Mandela still critical as family gathers in ancestral home
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The former South African president Nelson Mandela remains in a critical condition in a Pretoria hospital where he’s being treated for a lung infection.

The 94-year-old continues to have visitors but concern is growing.

Senior members of his family met with tribal leaders in his ancestral home in the remote Eastern Cape province to discuss “sensitive family matters”. No details were disclosed.

Meanwhile a meeting between Mandela and US President Barack Obama who arrives in South Africa on Friday, has been ruled out.

“President Obama would have loved to see President Mandela but he is indisposed,” said International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

“Arrangements have been made as per his request and his family to visit Robben Island and if all goes well maybe to interact with his foundation. This is very much in line with our tradition.”

A resident made a symbolic gesture outside the hospital in Pretoria by releasing several doves representing freedom. He did it to illustrate how much Mandela is revered as the architect of South Africa’s transition to a multi-racial democracy after three centuries of white oppression.