Nelson Mandela’s condition remained unchanged Tuesday, after his health deteriorated over the weekend and he was listed in critical condition at a Pretoria hospital, according to a statement from the South African president's office.
Meanwhile, members of Mandela’s family gathered at his home village of Qunu in the country’s Eastern Cape province, local news reports said. Few details were provided except that a meeting had been called to discuss "delicate" family matters.
Other relatives were seen visiting the hospital where Mandela is receiving treatment, as they have done on previous days.
Mandela, who became South Africa’s first black president after spending 27 years in prison under white-minority rule, was admitted to the hospital earlier this month to be treated for a recurring lung infection.
“Doctors continue to do their best to ensure his recovery, well-being and comfort,” the government statement said.
President Jacob Zuma urged his compatriots to honor Mandela’s legacy by “doing good for humanity” on the occasion of his 95th birthday July 18.
It is a day when South Africans are encouraged to devote 67 minutes to acts of kindness in honor of the 67 years that Mandela worked for equality in the country, from 1942 until his retirement from public life in 2009.
"We must support him and support his family,” Zuma said in the statement. “We must demonstrate our love and appreciation for his leadership during the struggle for liberation and in our first few years of freedom and democracy by living out his legacy and promoting unity, non-racialism, non-sexism and prosperity in our country.”
Staff writer Robyn Dixon contributed to this report from Johannesburg, South Africa.
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