Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela remains ill and is unable to speak, says his ex-wife

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 November, 2013, 5:30am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 November, 2013, 1:16pm

South Africa's Nelson Mandela remained "quite ill" and was unable to speak, using facial expressions to communicate as he received intensive medical care at home, his former wife said.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said the 95-year-old was not on life support but that he was no longer talking "because of all the tubes that are in his mouth to clear [fluid from] the lungs".

"He can't actually articulate anything" as a result, the report in yesterday's The Sunday Independent newspaper quoted Madikizela-Mandela as saying.

"He communicates with the face, you see. But the doctors have told us they hope to recover his voice."

Mandela was discharged on September 1 to his home in Johannesburg's upmarket Houghton suburb after nearly three months in hospital for a lung infection.

"I have heard this nonsense that he is on life support. He is not," Madikizela-Mandela said.

Mandela was under the care of 22 doctors, and while his pneumonia had cleared, his lungs remained sensitive.

"He remains quite ill, but thank God the doctors were able to pull him through from that [last] infection," she said.