Ailing former South African President Nelson Mandela is not "doing well" but is continuing to put up a courageous fight from his "deathbed", according to his family.
His daughter, Makaziwe Mandela, said in an interview: "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."
Mandela spent almost three months in a Pretoria hospital after being admitted in June with a recurring lung infection.
95-year-old liberation struggle icon was discharged in September and
has been receiving home-based medical attention since then.
Since June the Presidency has consistently described his condition as "critical but stable".
"He is still with us although he is not doing well in bed," his grandson, Ndaba Mandela said.
Last month Mr Mandela's oldest grandson, Mandla Mandela said he found him in a "good state."
"He is still progressing steadily but very much under a critical condition," Mandla Mandela told reporters.
Mandela was discharged from hospital, where he had been for three
months, on September 1 and taken by ambulance, pictured, to his home in
Johannesburg where he receives intensive care
Mandela's former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela told a local newspaper
that he remains "quite ill" and is unable to speak because of tubes
being used to clear his lungs of liquid.
He is using facial
expressions to communicate, Ms Madikizela-Mandela added. The Nobel Peace
Prize winner is under the care of 22 doctors.
While his pneumonia has cleared, his lungs remain sensitive, Ms Madikizela-Mandela said, adding that it was "difficult for him".
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,"
The Nobel Peace Prize winner's former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela,
pictured, said this week that Mandela remains 'quite ill' and can only
communicate through facial expressions
"He remains quite ill, but thank God the doctors were able to pull him through from that (last) infection."
His lung problems date back to his time in jail when he was diagnosed with early stage tuberculosis.
Mandela, who spent 27 years in apartheid jails before becoming South
Africa's first black leader, has faced several health scares.
His most recent 86-day hospital stay was his longest since he walked free from prison in 1990.
Mr Mandela has been in and out of hospital since last year with lung-related complications.
globally admired figure for steering South Africa peacefully into
democracy, Mandela's health problems prompted outpourings of well wishes
around the world.