News June 25, 2013 at 12:00 am

Nelson Mandela Remains in Critical and Stable Condition

Omoy Lungange June 25, 2013 at 12:00 am

June 25, 2013 at 12:00 am | News

According to CNN, former South African President Nelson Mandela is now in a critical and stable condition at a hospital in Pretoria, South Africa. Considered the founding father of South Africa's democracy, Nelson Mandela, now 94, has been vulnerable to respiratory problems since contracting tuberculosis during his imprisonment under apartheid. For fighting against the country's system of racial segregation, he endured 27 years in prison on the infamous Robben Island, a prison five miles off the coast of South Africa.

While imprisoned, Mandela became an international figure playing a leading role in steering the divided South African country from the apartheid era to democracy, becoming South Africa's first black president in all-race elections in 1994.

However, his health has become increasingly frail in recent years leading him to slowly fade from the spotlight. He last made a public appearance at the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament, which was hosted by South Africa. He didn't deliver an address on that occasion and was bundled against the cold in a stadium full of fans.

Word of Nelson Mandela’s worsening health drew national and global expressions of concern. On April 29, state television broadcast footage of a visit by Zuma and other leaders of the African National Congress to Mandela's home. Zuma said at the time that Mandela was in good shape, but the footage — the first public images of Mandela in nearly a year — showed him silent and unresponsive, even when Zuma tried to hold his hand.

On June 8, he was hospitalized for what the government said was a recurring lung infection. In Washington, the White House National Security Council spokeswoman noted the latest reports from the South African government about Mandela's worsening condition. "Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family and the people of South Africa," said spokeswoman Caitllin Hayden.

Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate impact extends far beyond South African borders. He is seen by many around the world as a symbol of reconciliation. We wish him a speedy recovery.

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