“Yes, he is using machines to breathe,” elder in the Mandela family Napilisi Mandela reportedly told AFP. “It is bad, but what can we do.”
Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj refused to comment on this claim, saying it would infringe on doctor-patient privacy.
Meanwhile, the chapel at 1 Military Hospital where Mandela’s body is expected to be taken after his death, before he is set to lie in state at the Union Buildings, has been prepared it was reported.
Zuma was due to attend a SADC summit on infrastructure investment in Maputo.
The Presidency said doctors had assured Zuma that they were doing everything they could to ensure Mandela’s well-being.
It was Zuma’s third visit to the hospital in less than two weeks and his cancellation of today’s visit to Mozambique echoes official statements that Mandela’s health had deteriorated to a critical state.
According to the Presidency, Mandela’s health condition has been unchanged since he took a turn for the worse at the weekend.
Earlier yesterday, Mandela’s family visited him twice at the hospital.
The Presidency said Zuma had been briefed by Mandela’s doctors and that his condition remained unchanged.