Mandela ‘doing better’: Mandla

Mandela's house in Qunu, in the former Transkei
Mandela’s house in Qunu, in the former Transkei

Former president Nelson Mandela is doing better, his grandson Mandla said on Saturday.

Addressing mourners at the funeral of the former president’s cousin Florence Mandela in Qunu, Eastern Cape, Mandla spoke about his grandfather’s condition in Xhosa.

“He is doing better,” Mandla said.

Mandla left soon after the service ended. He declined to speak to reporters.

The former president has spent a week in a hospital for a recurring lung infection.

A group of villagers and family gathered in a large white tent erected in a yard not far from the Mandela family graveyard in Qunu for the funeral service.

Friends and family also paid tribute to Florence during a service led by a Methodist priest.

The priest welcomed the media during the service and acknowledging their presence in Qunu since “our great father fell sick”.

On Friday, Mandela’s former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela visited the former president with her daughter Zindzi. His granddaughter Tukwini and three other relatives also visited.

The presidency had described Mandela’s condition as “serious, but stable”.

President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by African National Congress treasurer general Zweli Mkhize, visited him on Thursday.

“Madiba’s health continues to improve but his condition remains serious,” Zuma said in a statement issued afterwards. – Sapa