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article imageMandela family gather for ‘heated’ emergency meeting

By Yukio Strachan     Jun 26, 2013 in World
Pretoria - Relatives of Nelson Mandela remain tight-lipped on details of an emergency family meeting Tuesday morning at the critically ill 94-year-old former South African president's home in Eastern Cape.
Mandela’s eldest daughter, Makaziwe, called the meeting "to discuss delicate matters," South Africa's SABC news agency reported.
“Delicate matters,” according to the New York Times, is a euphemism widely interpreted to mean preparations for Mandela’s death.
It is also understood that such a meeting takes place in the Xhosa culture when the head of the family is critically ill, according to SABC.
During the three-hour meeting, tensions emerged between elder clan members and Mandela grandchildren during the talks, according to sources close to the family, although it was unclear exactly why, AFP reported.
Mandela’s deteriorating condition comes as President Obama prepares to leave Wednesday for Senegal, his first stop in a tour of Africa, before heading to South Africa on Friday.
Officials have said it is up to Mandela's family to decide if the former leader is well enough to meet with the Obama, NBC reported.
Zindzi Mandela said Tuesday that she had said to her father: "Obama is coming."
"He opened his eyes and gave me a smile," she said.
Meanwhile, Times Live South Africa reports, Jacob Zuma, the South African president, said in a statement Monday that Mandela’s condition remained “unchanged“.
On Sunday, it was reclassified as “critical” for the first time since he was admitted to hospital 18 days ago suffering from a lung infection.
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