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Nelson Mandela's health 'perilous,' court documents say

Tutu urges Mandelas to cool burial dispute

Matt Smith, Laura Smith-Spark and Robyn Curnow | 7/5/2013, 6 a.m.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela's health had declined so sharply last week that his family was considering whether to ...
Mthatha court releases to the press on July 4, 2013, a 'Certificate of Urgency' to describe Nelson Mandela's health. Document written by D. A. Smith, (the advocate for the family) June 26, 2013, says: I (the advocate for the family ) have been advised by my instructing attorney that Mr. Nelson Mandela has taken a turn for the worst (sic) and that the Mandela family have been advised by the medical practitioners that his life support machine should be switched off. Rather than prolonging his suffering, the Mandela family is exploring this option as a very real probability. Mthatha Court

— The remains buried in Mvezo were found and taken to a mortuary Wednesday, Eastern Cape police said, according to the South African Press Association. Forensic testing was done before the reburial in Qunu to confirm the identities of the bodies, the news agency said.

The three are Nelson Mandela's first daughter, Makaziwe Mandela, who died as a baby in 1948; his eldest son, Madiba Thembekile, who died in a car crash in 1969; and Makgatho Mandela, father to Mandla, who died in 2005, the news agency said.

Mandla Mandela issued a statement Wednesday saying he would abide by the court decision but continue "to fight for his right to put on record his side of the story."

On Thursday, he said his grandfather's health is the chief issue on his mind, the South African Press Association reported.

"My grandfather continues to be stable while in a critical space," he said.

"I want to focus on what matters most, being with my grandfather, ensuring I can be with him at this moment that he needs us most."

CNN's Robyn Curnow reported in Pretoria, Laura Smith-Spark wrote in London and Matt Smith wrote from Atlanta. CNN's Kim Norgaard, Tony Wende and Claudia Dominguez contributed to this report.

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