Mandela being treated for lung infection; wife says his sparkle is fading

Published: Dec 12, 2012, 06:57 IST | Agencies |

South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela is being treated for a lung infection, it was revealed as he spent his fourth day in hospital yesterday.

The announcement came as Mandela’s wife Graca Machel said her husband was losing his trademark “spirit and sparkle”.

Frail: The 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader’s health has been deteriorating in recent years. In 2011, Mandela was diagnosed with acute respiratory infection. File Pic

A statement from current President Jacob Zuma’s office said: “Doctors have concluded the tests, and these have revealed a recurrence of a previous lung infection, for which Madiba is receiving appropriate treatment and he is responding to the treatment.”

Machel told a South African television news channel: “I mean, this spirit and this sparkle, you see that somehow it’s fading. “To see him aging, it’s something also which pains you. You understand and you know it has to happen,” she said. Mandela’s grand-daughter Ndileka told the same news channel that the anti-apartheid icon has come to accept his condition.

She said: “He has come to accept that it’s part of growing old, and it’s part of humanity as such.” “At some point you will be dependent on someone else, he has come to embrace it.”

The pair’s comments are the first official remarks by Mandela’s family since the former president was rushed to hospital on Saturday.

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