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Mandela's family convenes urgent meeting


18:40, June 25, 2013

CAPE TOWN, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Former South African President Nelson Mandela's eldest daughter Makaziwe has called an urgent family meeting to discuss sensitive matters as Mandela remains in a critical condition in hospital on Tuesday.

The meeting was convened in Qunu village in the Eastern Cape Province, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) said. Qunu is the place where Mandela spent his happiest childhood days.

Makaziwe arrived in Qunu, accompanied by her sister Zenani and Mandela's grandson Ndaba, as well as Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, the report said.

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa arrived earlier on a separate flight. It is understood that such a meeting takes place in the Xhosa culture when a family member is critically ill. Mandela belongs to the Xhosa tribe.

The meeting came after President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday that Mandela's health had deteriorated to "critical" condition.

Mandela was rushed to hospital on June 8 with a recurring lung infection. Despite intensive treatment at Pretoria's Mediclinic Heart Hospital, the health of the 94-year-old anti-apartheid hero appears to have suddenly and dramatically deteriorated in recent days.

This is the fourth admission and one of Mandela's longest hospital stays since December last year.

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