JOHANNESBURG — Nelson Mandela’s health has deteriorated and he is now in critical condition, the South African government said Sunday.
The office of President Jacob Zuma said in a statement that he had visited the 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader at a hospital Sunday evening and was informed by the medical team that Mandela’s condition had become critical in the past 24 hours.
“The doctors are doing everything possible to get his condition to improve and are ensuring that Madiba is well-looked after and is comfortable. He is in good hands,” Zuma said in the statement, using Mandela’s clan name.
Zuma also met Graca Machel, Mandela’s wife, at the hospital and discussed the former leader’s condition, according to the statement.
Mandela, who became South Africa’s first black president after the end of apartheid in 1994, was hospitalized June 8 for what the government said was a recurring lung infection.
Zuma appealed to South Africans and the rest of the world to pray for Mandela, his family and the medical team attending to him.