South African President Jacob Zuma says that doctors are still working to help former president Nelson Mandela’s deteriorating health.
Zuma visited Mandela Sunday night, as the former leader continues to suffer from a recurring lung infection and is said to be in critical condition at a Pretoria hospital.
“Madiba is critical in the hospital, and this is the father of democracy,” Zuma said. “This is the man who fought and sacrificed his life to stay in prison, the longest-serving prisoner in South Africa.”
The South African president says he didn’t get a chance to talk to Mandela during his visit, but did get to speak with loved ones and those in care of him.
“It was late, he was already asleep,” said Zuma. “And we then had a bit of a discussion with the doctors as well as his wife, Graca Machel.”
President Zuma says despite Mandela’s worsening health conditions, President Obama is still scheduled to visit South Africa. “I don’t think you stop a visit because somebody’s sick,” said Zuma in reference to the presidential trip.
This is Mandela’s fourth hospitalization since December and Zuma is encouraging South Africans to keep him in their prayers as doctors work to improve his health condition.