Nelson Mandela, South Africa's ailing former president, is not doing well but is continuing to put up a courageous fight from his deathbed, his family say.

Mandela, 95, is receiving medical care at home after he was discharged from hospital in September following treatment for a recurring lung infection.

Twenty-two doctors care for him at his home in a suburb of Johannesburg.

Makaziwe Mandela, his daughter, said: "Tata is still with us, strong, courageous. Even for a lack of a better word ... on his 'deathbed' he is teaching us lessons; lessons in patience, in love, lessons of tolerance.


"Every moment I get with him I'm amazed.

"There are times where I have to pinch myself that I come from this man who is a fighter even though you can see he is struggling, but fighting spirit is still there with him."

His grandson, Ndaba Mandela, told the broadcaster SABC: "He is still with us although he is not doing well."

Mandela spent almost three months in hospital after being admitted in June after another lung infection.

His lung problems date back to his time in prison when he was diagnosed with early-stage tuberculosis.

Since June, the country's presidency has consistently described his condition as "critical but stable".

Last month, Mandela's former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, said he was no longer talking "because of all the tubes that are in his mouth to clear [fluid from] the lungs".