Mandela appears an ailing man in video

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In this image taken from video, the ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Madela is filmed Monday April 29, 2013, more than three weeks after being released from hospital. Mandela was treated in hospital for a recurring lung infection. South African President Jacob Zuma visited the former leader on Monday, but Mandela does not appear to speak during the televised portion of the visit, as he sits in an armchair, his head propped up by a pillow and with his cheeks showing what appear to be marks from a recently removed oxygen mask, although Zuma said he found Nelson Mandela “in good shape and in good spirits”. SOUTH AFRICA OUT Photo: SABC TV  Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/world/article/Mandela-appears-an-ailing-man-in-video-4472171.php#ixzz2RsnzZR8k
In this image taken from video, the ailing anti-apartheid icon Nelson Madela is filmed Monday April 29, 2013, more than three weeks after being released from hospital. Mandela was treated in hospital for a recurring lung infection. South African President Jacob Zuma visited the former leader on Monday, but Mandela does not appear to speak during the televised portion of the visit, as he sits in an armchair, his head propped up by a pillow and with his cheeks showing what appear to be marks from a recently removed oxygen mask, although Zuma said he found Nelson Mandela “in good shape and in good spirits”. SOUTH AFRICA OUT Photo: SABC TV
Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/world/article/Mandela-appears-an-ailing-man-in-video-4472171.php#ixzz2RsnzZR8k

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JOHANNESBURG  (AP) — South African President Jacob  Zuma said he found Nelson  Mandela “in good shape and in good spirits” Monday but a video of his  encounter with the ailing anti-apartheid icon belies those cheery words, showing  him with a vacant look on his face.

It’s  been more than three weeks since Mandela was released after a 10-day stay in the  hospital, the third time in five months that he was hospitalized for a recurring  lung infection.


“We  saw him, he’s looking very good, he’s in good shape,” Zuma told the South  African Broadcasting Corp. on the doorstep of Mandela’s Johannesburg home. “We  had some conversation with him, shook hands, he smiled, as you can see him, that  he’s really up and about and stabilized. We’re really very happy, we think that  he’s fine.”

But  the SABC video shows Mandela in an armchair, his head propped up by a pillow,  his legs on a footrest and covered by a blanket, looking grey-skinned and  unsmiling with his cheeks showing what appear to be marks from a recently  removed oxygen mask.

Zuma  jokes and laughs with two officials of the governing African  National Congress, some Mandela family members and the former president’s  medical team while Mandela stares straight ahead, unresponsive. Zuma tries to  hold Mandela’s hand but, given his lack of response, ends up covering it with  his own.

“Smile,  smile,” Mandela is urged as one of his grandsons grabs a cell phone to take a  picture. Mandela attempts a weak smile but, as the flash goes off, he closes his  eyes and purses his lips. Mandela is known to dislike camera flashes, as his  eyes are sensitive after years of working in the glare of a limestone quarry  when he was imprisoned on Robben Island.

Mandela  does not appear to speak during the televised portion of the visit, except for  an “Oh,” that could have been a gasp for breath and one word to his  medical doctor.

Monday’s  video likely will cause more concern for the many South Africans who revere  Mandela as the founder of a free South Africa and who were buoyed by the aging  icon’s release from hospital and family statements that he is doing as well as  can be expected, for a 94-year-old. Mandela’s 95th birthday is in July.

Zuma  is expected to run for re-election next year and Mandela’s name is the biggest  drawing card of his ruling African National Congress party.

Mandela’s  forgiving spirit and belief in racial reconciliation helped hold South Africa  together when it came to the brink of civil war before elections in 1994. The  Nobel Peace laureate who was imprisoned for 27 years by the racist white regime  became the first democratically elected president of South Africa  that year.

Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/world/article/Mandela-appears-an-ailing-man-in-video-4472171.php#ixzz2Rsntktug

 

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