Former South African President Nelson Mandela’s granddaughter, Zaziwe Manaway, says Madiba is at home, doing well and, unfortunately, aware of widespread suspicion about his health.
"That is absolutely not true,” Manaway told CNN about rumors that Mandela is on his death bed. “My grandfather is well. It can be very, very hurtful for us to hear these messages out there in the social media that our grandfather is going to go home to die. It is insensitive."
The 94-year-old was released from a Pretoria hospital on Wednesday where he was receiving treatment for a lung infection and gall stones since Dec. 8. Upon his release, government officials said the leader was doing well and would receive further medical care at his home.
Manaway says that not only are the rumors hurtful to the family, but Mandela himself is aware of the chatter.
"My grandfather still wakes up in the morning [and] reads the newspaper," Manaway said. "So [he] is also aware of what is being said around him."
The South African government came under fire during Mandela’s hospitalization with many accusing the Zuma administration of purposely keeping critical details from the public. However, Mandela’s granddaughter bolstered government claims that Mandela is still doing well. She told CNN that she wants people to stop spreading the rumors and to respect the family’s privacy.
“We're very grateful he's surrounded by the best medical team. He's very well taken care of, and he's very comfortable, and he's very happy,” she said.
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