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Even on his 'deathbed' Nelson Mandela is teaching us lessons, says his family

Thursday, 5 December 2013 - 2:13pm IST | Agency: Daily Telegraph
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Nelson Mandela, South Africa's ailing former president, is not "doing well" but is continuing to put up a courageous fight from his "deathbed", his family have said.

Mandela, 95, is receiving medical care at home after he was discharged from hospital in September following treatment for a recurring lung infection. Twenty-two doctors care for him at his home in a suburb of Johannesburg. Makaziwe Mandela, his daughter, said: "Tata is still with us, strong, courageous. Even for a lack of a better word… on his 'deathbed' he is teaching us lessons; lessons in patience, in love, lessons of tolerance.

"Every moment I get with him I'm amazed. There are times where I have to pinch myself that I come from this man who is a fighter even though you can see he is struggling, but fighting spirit is still there with him."

His grandson, Ndaba Mandela, told the broadcaster, SABC: "He is still with us although he is not doing well." Mandela spent almost three months in a hospital after being admitted in June, following another lung infection. His lung problems date back to his time in prison, when he was diagnosed with early-stage tuberculosis. Since June, the country's presidency has consistently described his condition as "critical but stable". Last month, Mr Mandela's former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, said he was no longer talking "because of all the tubes that are in his mouth to clear [fluid from] the lungs".

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