“He is assisted in breathing by a life support machine… the anticipation of his impending death is based on real and substantial grounds,” Makaziwe Mandela, the eldest daughter of Nelson Mandela, said on Wednesday.
Some members of Mandela’s family including Makaziwe, his wife, Graca Machel, and 14 other relatives submitted documents to the Eastern Cape High Court as part of an ongoing dispute within the family over where the anti-apartheid leader should be buried.
The papers say Mandela’s “perilous” breathing situation has lasted at least six days and his condition has been “critical” since June 23.
South African officials have neither confirmed nor denied whether Mandela is on life-support condition.
The 94-year-old icon was taken to hospital for a lung infection. His lung troubles date from his 27 years in prison.
Nelson Mandela, who led the country to democracy in 1994, left office in 1999 after serving one term as South Africa’s president. Seen as South Africa’s moral compass, the highly revered leader announced his retirement from public life in 2004, but continued to make a number of public appearances.
The former South African president has received more than 250 awards over four decades, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.