Mandela visits Fassie

May 06, 2004

Brenda Fassie
Photo - AFP
JOHANNESBURG — Ailing singer Brenda Fassie has shown a determination to survive, former president Nelson Mandela said on Wednesday.

He told reporters that he was moved by Fassie's show of strength.

"She is a determined lady and she has shown her determination to survive."

Mandela was addressing the media outside the Sunninghill hospital in Johannesburg after he visited Fassie.

Fassie remained in a stable condition, but in a coma, her recording company EMI said on Wednesday.

Spokesman Leslie Sedibe said Fassie remained "neurologically unchanged", and her blood pressure was normal.

Fassie was hospitalised on Monday last week following an asthma attack which led to cardio-respiratory arrest. Doctors were able to resuscitate her but she fell into a coma.

Mandela, accompanied by his wife Graca, was his humorous self as a crowd, among them patients, waited at the reception area of the hospital for a glimpse of him.

"Molo tata, unjani tata," shouted most of the well-wishers.

He shook hands with some of them and shared a joke with the reporters before he was whisked away by his entourage.

Sedibe said Mandela tried to encourage Fassie not to give up on her fight to recovery.

"He (Mandela) told her President Thabo Mbeki had visited her and that the country is fully behind her. Most people, including government ministers and senior officials, are praying for her speedy recovery."

Sedibe said doctors were investigating a possibility of performing a neuro-physical test on Fassie.

"If they do decided to carryout the test that will be done in the morning on Thursday," he said.

Called the "Madonna of the townships", after the US pop icon, Fassie is admired for her golden voice. She is noted in the music industry for being one of the biggest sellers the country has ever produced. – Sapa

Related stories
Fassie in stable condition, may have brain damage [03/05/2004]



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