Nelson Mandela’s health has deteriorated and he is now in a critical condition, the South African presidency has said.
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa visited Mr Mandela in hospital this evening.
They were briefed by Mr Mandela’s medical team and told that the 94-year-old’s condition had “become critical over the past 24 hours”.
Mr Zuma said in a statement: “The doctors are doing everything possible to get his condition to improve and are ensuring that Madiba is well-looked after and is comfortable. He is in good hands.”
The pair also met with Graca Machel at the hospital to discuss the former South African president’s condition.
Mr Mandela has suffered repeated bouts of illness in recent months and has been admitted to hospital four times since December.
The anti-apartheid leader has been in intensive care since he was last admitted to hospital on June 8 for a recurring lung infection.
Mr Zuma appealed to South Africans and to the world to pray for Mr Mandela, his family and the medical team attending to him.
Mr Mandela made his last public appearance at the World Cup closing ceremony in Johannesburg in 2010.