Nelson Mandela faces impending death, as his "perilous" health has left him in a vegetative state, court documents revealed Thursday.
The former South African president, 94, is being kept alive by breathing machines, according to the documents filed in the court case that resulted in the remains of his three deceased children being reburied Thursday in their original graves. Mandela has been in the hospital since June 8.
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"[Being on a ventilator] indicates a very poor prognosis for recovery because it means that he's either too weak or too sick to breathe on his own," Dr. Adri Kok, who has no connection to Mandela's care, told The Associated Press.
"Usually if a person does need that, any person, not keeping in mind his age at all, for any person it would be indicative of a grave illness."
As the end seems near for Mandela, thousands of supporters have expressed their support via Twitter and taken to the Internet to remember the man who fought so hard for equality.
Here are some of Mandela's most inspirational quotes from his lifetime:
"I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal, which I hope to live for and to see realized. But my Lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die." — Defense statement during the Rivonia Trial, 1964.
"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead." — 90th birthday celebration of apartheid activist Walter Sisulu, 2002.
"For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." — "Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela."
"You sharpen your ideas by reducing yourself to the level of the people you are with and a sense of humor and a complete relaxation, even when you're discussing serious things, does help to mobilize friends around you. And I love that." — From an interview for "Mandela: The Authorized Portrait," 2005.
"I was called a terrorist yesterday, but when I came out of jail, many people embraced me, including my enemies, and that is what I normally tell other people who say those who are struggling for liberation in their country are terrorists. I tell them that I was also a terrorist yesterday, but, today, I am admired by the very people who said I was one." — "Larry King Live," 2000.
"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." — "Long Walk to Freedom."
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." — University of the Witwatersrand South Africa address, 2003.
"If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner." — "Long Walk to Freedom."
"Death is something inevitable. When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity." — From an interview for the documentary "Mandela," 1994.
"The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." — "Long Walk to Freedom."
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