THE South African presidency has said the condition of Nelson Mandela has become critical.
The office of Jacob Zuma said that the president had visited the 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader this evening and was informed by the medical team that Mr Mandela's condition had become critical in the past 24 hours.
Mr Zuma said that the doctors are "doing everything possible to get his condition to improve".
Mr Mandela, who became South Africa's first black president after the end of apartheid in 1994, was taken to hospital on June 8 for what the government said was a recurring lung infection.
Mr Zuma also met Graca Machel, Mr Mandela's wife, at the hospital and discussed the former leader's condition, according to the statement.
Mr Zuma appealed to South Africans and the rest of the world to pray for Mr Mandela, his family and the medical team that is attending to him.
Mr Mandela was jailed for 27 years under white racist rule and was released in 1990. He then played a leading role in steering the divided country from the apartheid era to democracy, becoming South Africa's first black president in all-race elections in 1994.
As a result of his sacrifice and peace-making efforts, he is seen by many around the world as a symbol of reconciliation.
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