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Nelson Mandela Death Date: Former South African President on Life Support, Facing 'Impending Death'

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Nelson Mandela
(Photo : REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko)

As he is being kept alive by a breathing machine and facing "impending death," according to court documents, Nelson Mandela's family gravesite was restored on Thursday after a fierce family feud.

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The former South African president's health is "perilous," and he is now on life support, according to documents filed in the court case that resulted in the remains of the former president's three deceased children being reburied in their original graves, USA Today reported.

"The anticipation of his impending death is based on real and substantial grounds," the court filing said.

"He's basically gone," said Charlene Smith, an authorized biographer of the famed political icon. "He's not there. He's not there."

According to USA Today, the chief executive of the Faculty of Consulting Physicians of South Africa explained that a younger individual can be weaned off life support and recover, but that it can be difficult or impossible for an older person to do the same. The longer a person is on ventilation the less the chance of recovery, the medical professional added.

The 94-year-old has been hospitalized in Pretoria since June 8 and has been in critical condition since late June.

Mandela's wife, Graca Machel, said the former anti-apartheid leader, although sometimes uncomfortable, rarely is in pain while being treated in a hospital.

She spoke about her husband's condition at a fundraising event for a children's hospital that will be named after Mandela.

"Whatever is the outcome of his stay in hospital, that will remain the second time where he offered his nation an opportunity to be united under the banner of our flag, under the banner of our constitution," she said.

Keep checking back with us for updates on Mandela's health. 

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Jul 05, 2013 11:01 AM EDT

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