NPR : News

Filed Under:

Hospitalized Nelson Mandela In Critical Condition

Nelson Mandela, the former South African president and anti-apartheid leader, is in critical condition in a hospital in Pretoria where he was admitted two weeks ago with a recurring respiratory infection.

A statement from South African President Jacob Zuma said the 94-year-old Mandela's condition had become critical over 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," said Zuma, referring to Mandela by his clan name.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports that Zuma has also met with Mandela's wife, Graca Machel, to discuss his health.

Mandela, a Noble Peace Prize laureate, was rushed to the hospital on June 8, but was reportedly stranded for 40 minutes en route after his ambulance broke down.

On Saturday, Zuma's office confirmed that an ambulance that transported Mandela had been disabled. Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said Mandela was transferred to another military ambulance for the remainder of the journey between Johannesburg and the Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria.

He did not say how long the trip to the hospital took, but said "all care" was taken to ensure that Mandela's medical condition was not compromised.

Mandela's lung problems date from his long imprisonment at Robben Island near Cape Town, where he spent 27 years for his anti-apartheid activities before being released in 1990.

In 1994, Mandela became South Africa's first black president.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit


'Not Without My Daughter' Subject Grows Up, Tells Her Own Story

"Not Without My Daughter" told the story of an American mother and daughter fleeing Iran. Now that young girl is telling her own story in her memoir, "My Name is Mahtob."

Internet Food Culture Gives Rise To New 'Eatymology'

Internet food culture has brought us new words for nearly every gastronomical condition. The author of "Eatymology," parodist Josh Friedland, discusses "brogurt" with NPR's Rachel Martin.

Proposed Climate Change Rules At Odds With U.S. Opponents

President Obama says the U.S. must lead the charge to reduce burning of fossil fuels. But American lawmakers are divided on limiting carbon emissions and opponents say they'll challenge any new rules.

Payoffs For Prediction: Could Markets Help Identify Terrorism Risk?

In a terror prediction market, people would bet real money on the likelihood of attacks. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Stephen Carter about whether such a market could predict — and deter — attacks.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.