Documents: Nelson Mandela kept alive by breathing machine

4:05 PM, Jul 4, 2013   |    comments
AFP/Getty Images
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JOHANNESBURG  --  Court documents in South Africa reveal that Nelson Mandela is being kept alive by a breathing machine, and that he faces "impending death."

The documents were filed in the court case involving a dispute among members of his family about the burial site for Mandela's three deceased children. The case resulted in the remains of all three being reburied today in their original graves -- in Mandela's hometown, where Mandela has said that he himself would like to be laid to rest.

According to an authorized biographer of Mandela, the former president and anti-apartheid leader is "basically gone." Mandela, who's 94, was hospitalized nearly a month ago for a recurring lung infection.

Mandela's wife says the former South African president is sometimes uncomfortable but seldom in pain while being treated in a hospital.

Graca Machel spoke about her husband's condition on Thursday at a fundraising drive for a children's hospital that will be named after the anti-apartheid leader.

Also, the office of President Jacob Zuma said he visited Mandela on Thursday. Zuma's office says Mandela, who was hospitalized on June 8, remains in critical but stable condition.

Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years during white racist rule and was freed in 1990 before being elected president in all-race elections.

The Associated Press

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