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Mandela remains critical but stable – Zuma

Pretoria, July 11 (): Visiting former South African President Nelson Mandela in hospital, President Jacob Zuma said today the global peace icon was responding to treatment but still in a critical condition. Zuma visited Mandela for the second time in 24 hours.

Zuma urged the public to continue “showering him with love which gives him and the family strength.”

Doctors are said to have ruled out turning off his life support machines unless there is serious organ failure. His health appears to have shown a slight improvement in recent days. The mentally strong man, who withstood 27 years in jail and led his country from conflict toward reconciliation, is monitored around the clock by doctors.

South Africa’s presidency stated on Thursday that Nelson Mandela continues to respond to treatment but remains in a critical condition after 34 days of hospital stay.

Mandela, who turns 95 on July 18, was rushed to a Pretoria hospital on June 8 with a recurring lung infection. He has been receiving treatment for the recurring lung infection that has made him stay in hospital for four times in the past six months.

The South African city Durban has set a giant birthday card for the bedridden former leader and has also scheduled a football match in his honour. The giant birthday card is 3 metres wide and 4 metres long. It has been put on display and the sponsors said they hope to gather 10,000 signatures for the beloved former leader.

The sponsors said they hope to make the Guiness Books of Records for the highest number of signatures on a birthday card. Meanwhile, British football team Manchester City will play South Africa’s Amazulu in Durban to celebrate Mandela’s birthday.

Mandela’s birthday is dedicated to doing good deeds for others, in honour of Mandela’s selfless struggle.

Mandela spent 27 years in the prison under white racist rule. He was released in 1990 and became South Africa’s first democratically elected president in 1994.

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