Madiba not ill, says foundation

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pretoria - The Nelson Mandela Foundation has hit out against speculation around former President Nelson Mandela's health, saying that he is well.

"The fact is that Mr Mandela is as well as anyone can expect of someone who is 91-years-old and who has lived an active and demanding life as he has," said chairperson of the foundation Professor JG Gerwel in a statement on Friday.

"He obviously needs to rest more than he has in the past, and indeed to do the things that he enjoys in his well deserved retirement."

Gerwell said that the former president had recently decided to cut back his engagements even further to spend more time with his family.

The foundation said that while Mandela was President of the country he was open about the state of his health, an openness that since continued.

"People everywhere can therefore be assured that Mr Mandela and his family will continue this trend and will keep the public informed should there be any significant deterioration in his health," it said.

The foundation also appealed to all concerned to respect Mandela's privacy and that of his family citing that speculation often led to intrusive questioning of those around him.