Nelson Mandela Remains in Critical Condition

President Jacob Zuma told reporters that doctors were doing their best to ensure Mandela's "well being and comfort."

Posted: 06/24/2013 09:00 AM EDT

Nelson Mandela's condition remains "critical," President Jacob Zuma told reporters at a Monday press conference in Johannesburg. "Doctors are doing everything possible to ensure his well-being and comfort,” he added, according to The New York Times

The former leader has been hospitalized since June 8 for a recurring lung infection.

Media outlets spotlighted the South African government this past weekend, after CBS News reported on discrepancies regarding Nelson Mandela's health. Several sources alleged that contrary to claims of Mandela's health improving, Mandela's liver and kidneys were functioning at 50 percent, and that he had a procedure to repair a bleeding ulcer and another one to insert a tube.

"We're told he hasn't opened his eyes in days and is unresponsive," CBS News reported.

"We also understand that Mandela family members are discussing just how much medical intervention is enough for an old and very sick man."

In a statement released on Sunday, President Zuma assured the public that Mandela was in "good hands."

"The doctors are doing everything possible to get his condition to improve and are ensuring that Madiba is well looked after and is comfortable," said the statement.

Reports also revealed that the ambulance by which Mandela had been admitted to the hospital two weeks prior had been stalled for 40 minutes, leaving him stranded on the roadside in freezing weather before a second ambulance arrived. The South African government confirmed the vehicle failure, but insisted that Mandela's health had not been compromised.

A number of Mandela's family members have previously addressed Mandela's condition. His wife, Graca Machel, has also expressed gratitude for the public's widespread support and prayers.

The anti-apartheid hero has been heralded for his historic peacemaking and reconciliatory efforts in a post-apartheid South Africa. Prior to becoming the country's first Black president in 1990, Mandela spent 27 years imprisoned for his oppositional, political views. He contracted tuberculosis while being held at the notorious Cape Town prison Robben Island.

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(Photo: AP Photo: Schalk van Zuydam, Archives)

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