Zuma cancels trip over Mandela's health

This picture shows former South African President Nelson Mandela in Sandton, June 17, 2010.

South Africaâ„¢s President Jacob Zuma has canceled a visit to neighboring Mozambique over growing concerns about the health of the countryâ„¢s anti-apartheid revolutionary leader Nelson Mandela.

On Thursday, Zuma made the decision to cancel his visit to Maputo, Mozambique – where he was scheduled to take part in the SADC Regional Summit on Infrastructure Investment – after he visited the 94-year-old Mandela late on Wednesday, according to a presidential statement.

Å“President Zuma was briefed by the doctors who are still doing everything they can to ensure his well-being,” said the statement.

Since June 8, South Africa’s first black president has been in a Pretoria hospital, where he has been receiving treatment for a lung infection. He has now been put on life support.

This is the first time Zuma has cancelled a official event since Mandela was hospitalized earlier this month.

Meanwhile, people are holding a vigil outside the hospital in Pretoria, praying for Mandela.

The anti-apartheid revolutionary leader, who spent 27 years in apartheid prisons, has a history of lung problems dating back to when he contracted tuberculosis as a political prisoner.

On Tuesday, members of Mandelaâ„¢s family and tribal elders held a meeting at his home in the village of Qunu in Eastern Cape Province, 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) south of Johannesburg.

The Nobel Peace laureate, who led the country to democracy in 1994, left office in 1999 after serving one term as president.

Seen as South Africaâ„¢s moral compass, the highly revered leader announced his retirement from public life in 2004, but continued to make a number of public appearances.


This article originally appeared on: Press TV