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Ambulance With Ailing Mandela Broke Down En Route to Hospital

The ambulance that rushed former South African President Nelson Mandela to a hospital in the early hours of June 8 broke down, causing a delay while a replacement vehicle was dispatched.

The military ambulance experienced “engine problems” on the way to the hospital in Pretoria, Mac Maharaj, spokesman for President Jacob Zuma, said in a phone interview today, confirming a report by CBS News.

Medical staff attending to Mandela, 94, decided to transfer him to another vehicle, Maharaj said.

“Doctors ensured his health wasn’t compromised during the incident,” he said.

The CBS report says the transfer to another ambulance took place in freezing winter temperatures.

Mandela, also known by his clan name Madiba, is spending his 15th day in the hospital for treatment of a recurring lung infection.

It’s the fourth time he’s been hospitalized since December.

The presidency said in a statement on its website today that Mandela “remains in a serious but stable condition.”

Thabo Mbeki, who succeeded Mandela in 1999, said on June 20 that the former leader’s condition was improving, while the Johannesburg-based Star newspaper yesterday quoted his grandson, Ndaba Mandela, as saying he may be discharged from the hospital soon.

Read more: IT

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