Doctors deny Mandela in vegetative state—presidency

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In this Dec. 7, 2005, file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela, 87, is in a jovial mood at the Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg. The South African government on Thursday, July 4, 2013, denied that former president Nelson Mandela was in a permanent vegetative state, as outlined in court documents filed on June 26. AP PHOTO/DENIS FARRELL

JOHANNESBURG—The South African government on Thursday denied that former president Nelson Mandela was in a permanent vegetative state, as outlined in court documents filed on June 26.

“We confirm our earlier statement released this afternoon after President Jacob Zuma visited Madiba in hospital that Madiba remains in a critical, but stable condition. The doctors deny that the former President is in a vegetative state,” read the statement.

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