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