Johannesburg • South Africa's former president, Nelson Mandela, remains "quite ill" and unable to speak because of tubes that are keeping his lungs clear of fluid, though he is relaxed, his former wife told a South African newspaper.
"He remains very sensitive to any germs, so he has to be kept literally sterile. The bedroom there (in his suburban Johannesburg home) is like an ICU ward," Winnie Madikizela-Mandela told the Sunday Independent. "He is 95 years old and it is difficult for him, because of all the tubes that are in his mouth to clear the (fluid from his) lungs, and prevent an infection recurring." Because of those tubes, she said, he communicates through his face.
"But the doctors have told us they hope he will be able to recover his voice," she said, adding that he is being treated by 22 doctors at his home.