South African President Jacob Zuma cancelled a trip to neighbouring Mozambique Thursday after visiting Nelson Mandela, who remains critically ill in hospital.
Bloomberg reported that Zuma visited Mandela, 94, at the hospital in Pretoria, the capital, last night. Mandela was admitted to the intensive-care unit on June 8 to receive treatment for a recurring lung infection.
Zuma who was scheduled to attend an infrastructure conference hosted by the Southern African Development Community in Mozambique’s capital, Maputo, today, decided to cancel his trip after visiting Mandela at about 10 p.m. local time yesterday.
Reports say Mandela’s condition had deteriorated in the past 48 hours. Mandela, who turns 95 next month, became the president of the continent’s largest economy after his African National Congress won all-race elections in 1994.
He spent 27 years in jail for opposing white-minority rule and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. The London-based Daily Telegraph reported that he is on life support machines to help him breathe, citing a member of Mandela’s clan, Napilisi Mandela.