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Probe demanded in Mandela ambulance incident

Last Updated: Sunday, June 23, 2013 - 19:39

Johannesburg: South Africa`s main opposition party on Sunday demanded a probe into the break down of a military ambulance that rushed Nelson Mandela to hospital two weeks ago as the anti-apartheid icon spent 15th day in the hospital.

"It is of great concern that a South African Military Health Service military ambulance, transporting former President Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel, experienced engine failure and broke down on 08 June 2013," David Maynier, the shadow Defence Minister, said in a statement.

"What happened is symptomatic of the poor state of the South African Military Health Service. The fact is that the South African Military Health Service let the country down, he said.
He said he will write to the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, requesting that a Board of Inquiry be convened to investigate the incident. We have to be absolutely sure that the South African Military Health Service`s military ambulance service poses no future risk to the health of former President Nelson Mandela," he said.

Meanwhile, Mandela, who was admitted to the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria on June 8, with a recurrent lung infection, remains in a serious but stable condition in hospital, the presidency said in a statement.

The Presidency also thanked the public for support and for respecting the privacy of the former president and his family.

This is Mandela`s fourth hospitalisation since December.
The revered world leader has a long history of lung problems, dating back to the time when he was a political prisoner on Robben Island during apartheid. He contracted tuberculosis in 1988 during his 27 years in prison.

Mandela, who turns 95 next month, has not been seen in public since the World Cup final in South Africa in July 2010.

Mandela, one of the world`s tallest statesmen, led the movement to replace the apartheid regime of South Africa with a multi-racial democracy.

Mandela served as South Africa`s first black President from 1994 to 1999.
He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.


First Published: Sunday, June 23, 2013 - 19:39
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