TODAY   |  July 05, 2013

Reports on Nelson Mandela’s health conflict

Denying reports that the former South African president is in a persistent vegetative state, the South African government is saying he is in critical but stable condition. NBC’s Ron Allen reports.

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>> african president nelson mandela clinging to life in a petoria hospital but there's conflicting reports about how grave the situation is. ron is joining us with the latest. good morning.

>> reporter: good morning. yes, the crowds continue arriving here outside the hospital. offering prayers, singing hymns and paying their respects. the official word is that he is in critical but stable condition but there's little detail and that's why there's so many rumors and speculation. there is a report that he is in a vegetative state on life support and his family is advised to discontinue care. but they made a statement about that saying it was not true last night. we also recently heard from nelson mandela 's wife that made a rare public comment yesterday about his condition saying he is at times uncomfortable but is not in any pain and so use her words, he is fine. also during this long period of waiting there's been a number of mandela family feuds that have burst out into the public. one of them ugly. one involving the final resting place of nelson mandela . that appears to be settled. meanwhile, the waiting continues.

>>> thank you. a 4th of