NBC News – PRETORIA – Nelson Mandela “is not going to go anywhere anytime soon,” one of the anti-apartheid icon’s daughters told NBC News in an exclusive interview on Thursday.
Speaking to Special Correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Zindzi Mandela said her father was “very comfortable” and “responding” as he battles a lung infection at a Pretoria hospital.
“His whole legacy is about fighting,” she said. “I can’t stress enough what a fighter he is. He’s a strong man. He’s about resilience.”
When asked whether the family would welcome a visit by President Barack Obama, who is due to visit South Africa this weekend, Mandela said she wasn’t aware of any formal request but added that decision would be left with doctors treating the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
She described Mandela’s condition as “typical for a 94-year-old man whose health is frail.”
“He is with us,” Mandela added.
Meanwhile, Mandela’s eldest daughter said he appeared to be able to hear family members.
Speaking to SABC radio, Makaziwe Mandela said: “I won’t lie, it doesn’t look good. But as I say, if we speak to him, he responds and tries to open his eyes. He’s still there. He might be waning off, but he’s still there.”
Other members of the former South African president’s family thanked well-wishers around the world for their support.
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