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Mandela's health shows signs of improvement

July 22, 2013

For the past six weeks, many people in South Africa have been solemnly monitoring the condition of former president and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, who is hospitalized and in critical condition for with a lung infection. A great deal of speculation raged about the severity of his ailment, and some in the media criticized President Jacob Zuma and his administration of downplaying Mandela's health problems.

However, recent developments in the former president's health have been more positive. Bloomberg reported that both Zuma and Mandela's grandson, Mandla​, made public statements confirming that Mandela had experienced consistent improvement in the past several days, welcome news for South Africans, who may make it a topic of conversation on calls made with prepaid phone cards.

According to the news source, Zuma's statement was succinct. "Former President Mandela is still in a critical condition in hospital but shows sustained improvement," it read.

BBC News reported that Mandla Mandela's statement said considerably more. Beginning by confirming that Mandela was getting "stronger every day," the former president's grandson then went on to characterize this news as a rebuke to those in the media whom he believed were saying Mandela was "in a vegetative state and just waiting for his support machines to be turned off."

Mandela's family made news during this period due to a bitter public disagreement over the proper resting place of the former president's deceased children. According to BBC News, in 2011, Mandla moved their remains to the city of Mvezo, which brought about a prolonged court battle with both sides - Mandla and his aunt, Makaziwe - claiming that the other wanted to control the legacy of Nelson Mandela. Recently, the courts ruled in Makaziwe's favor, and ordered that the remains be transferred back to their original burial site in Qunu.


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