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Mandela remains quite ill: former wife told newspaper

Updated: 2013-11-17 18:32
( Xinhua)

JOHANNESBURG - Former South African President Nelson Mandela remains quite ill and has lost the use of his voice, his ex-wife Winnie Mandela said.

Winnie told the local Sunday Independent newspaper that "the bedroom there in Houghton (Johannesburg) is like an Intensive Care Unit." The tubes inserted in Mandela's mouth to drain fluid from his lungs has caused him to lose the use of his voice, according to Winnie.

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

"Though pneumonia has cleared, his lungs remain sensitive, hence the tubes." Winnie said a team of 22 doctors was attending to the ailing anti-apartheid icon.

The family, Winnie said, was glad that Mandela is being treated at home, and this made him feel comfortable.

Winnie however denied reports that Mandela was on life reports.

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

Mandela is receiving medical treatment at his Johannesburg home after being released from hospital in early September following a 85-day stay for a recurring lung infection, the result of his long- time imprisonment during the apartheid times.

At the time of his release, the Presidency announced that his conditions remained critical and at times unstable, saying his house in Johannesburg had been configured to enable the doctors to give him intensive care.

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