Doctors treating former South African president Nelson Mandela have denied rumours that he is in a “permanent vegetative state”.
Visitors including President Zuma and a close friend of the ailing 94-year-old both said he continued to be critical but stable.
His wife Graca Machel has spoken publicly for the first time about her husband’s health:
“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 this nation again is the gift of unity.”
The mountain of tributes continues to grow outside the hospital where Madiba, as he is sometimes known, is being treated for a recurring lung infection. The man viewed as the father of the South African nation is said to be on a ventilator to help him breath.