‘Mandela in critical condition’

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Former South African President Nelson Mandela celebrates his 94th birthday with family in Qunu, South Africa, in this July 18, 2012, file photo. Nelson Mandela’s health has deteriorated and he is now in critical condition, the South African government said Sunday, June 23, 2013. AP PHOTO/SCHALK VAN ZUYDAM

JOHANNESBURG—Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela who is receiving treatment for a recurrent lung infection is now in critical condition, South Africa’s presidency said Sunday.

“The condition of former president Nelson Mandela, who is still in hospital in Pretoria, has become critical,” Mac Maharaj, presidential spokesman, said in a statement.

The condition of 94-year-old who was admitted to hospital on June 8 has worsened in the past 24 hours.

President Jacob Zuma broke the news after visiting Mandela in hospital Sunday evening and was told by doctors “that the former president’s condition had become critical over the past 24 hours.”

Mandela, who became South Africa’s first black president in 1994, is due to celebrate his 95th birthday on July 18. He has been hospitalized four times since December, mostly for the pulmonary condition that has plagued him for years.

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