Nelson Mandela’s emergency ambulance broke down on the way to hospital – SA gov’t officials admit

The former South African president was transferred to another ambulance after the vehicle had engine trouble 

Treatment: Nelson Mandela
Treatment: Nelson Mandela (Getty)

The emergency ambulance carrying Nelson Mandela to hospital two weeks ago  broke down, embarrassed officials admitted today.

The former South African president and anti-apartheid leader was transferred  to another ambulance after the vehicle had engine trouble.

But a presidential spokesman insisted there was no threat to Mr Mandela, 94,  as he was surrounded by intensive care nurses the whole time.

He refused to confirm reports that Mr Mandela had to wait for 40 minutes for  a second ambulance in freezing winter temperatures.

Mr Mandela was being rushed from Johannesburg to hospital in Pretoria in the  early hours of June 8.

He was transferred to another military ambulance for the remainder of the  50-minute journey.

“All care was taken to ensure that former president Mandela’s medical  condition was not compromised by the unforeseen incident,” said a spokesman.

He would not say how long Mr Mandela’s journey to hospital had been delayed  by the breakdown.

The spokesman said Mr Mandela remained in a “serious but stable” condition  today.

The news came amid separate unconfirmed reports that Mr Mandela’s liver and  kidney functions are down to 50 per cent and his family are now discussing  whether to withdraw treatment.

He was admitted in a serious condition with a recurrence of long-standing  lung problems and has been in intensive care since. It is his third stay in  hospital this year.

Mr Mandela spent three months in hospital earlier this year. He has suffered  from pneumonia and is known to be extremely frail.

His lungs were damaged during his 27 years in prison at Robben Island.

He was released in 1990 after 27 years and went on to serve as president from  1994 to 1999.

Read more: Daily Mirror

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