Former South African president Nelson Mandela is still in “quite ill,” his ex-wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela told South Africa’s Sunday Independent newspaper. She dismissed speculation that the anti-apartheid leader was on life support.
Nelson Mandela returned home in September after nearly three months in a hospital with a recurring lung infection. His condition has been characterized as critical and sometimes unstable, by the South African government.
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said Mandela is no longer talking “because of all the tubes in his mouth to clear [fluid from] his lungs.” She also said ”He can’t actually articulate anything… He communicates with the face, you see. But the doctors have told us they hope to recover his voice.”
Ms. Madikizela-Mandela added, ”I have heard this nonsense that he is on life support – he is not.” “It is difficult for him. He remains very sensitive to any germs, so he has to be kept literally sterile. The bedroom there is like an ICU [intensive care unit] ward.”
Nelson Mandela’s home in a suburb of Johannesburg has been specially adapted for his care, where he is receiving intensive care.