South African icon Nelson Mandela has now spent one full month in a Pretoria hospital, where the elderly former president is being treated for a recurring lung infection. Meanwhile, an ugly family feud rages outside the hospital.
Mandela will turn 95 in just 10 days, a huge milestone for a man whose life spanned both South Africa’s dimmest and brightest days. As the nation’s first black president, he is credited with steering the divided country away from civil war and into an era of peace and democracy.
Details about his health are few, and often conflicting. The president’s office, the lone source of official information, has more or less repeated the same three words for the last month. For the first two weeks, Mandela was “serious but stable.” Then his condition worsened, and since then he has been “critical but stable.”