Johannesburg: South Africa`s first black president Nelson Mandela has been breathing through medical life support measures, described as "perilous" by his family members in a court document.
"He (Mandela) is assisted in breathing by a life support machine... the anticipation of his impending death is based on real and substantial grounds," news agency Xinhua quoted the court document from his family members as saying.
The document was reportedly submitted in the Eastern Cape High Court.
The South African Press Association (SAPA) said the papers were filed by more than a dozen family members Friday, so the "perilous" breathing situation has been lasting at least for six days for Mandela.
The former president`s health condition has been "critical" since June 23.
Mandela, to turn 95 soon, was admitted to a Pretoria hospital June 8 for a recurring lung infection.