Nelson Mandela Placed On Life Support; Family and Clan Leaders Gather for 'Urgent' Meeting

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Former South African President Nelson Mandela has been placed on life support, CBS News reports.

On Tuesday, his family and chief members of his clan gathered at his home in Qunu for an "urgent" meeting to discuss "delicate matters."

Asked whether the family is discussing letting Mandela go, his eldest daughter Makaziwe Mandela told The Sun that in African culture "you never release the person unless the person has told you please my children, my family release me. My dad hasn’t said that to us."

It will also be up to Mandela's children to decide whether he is well enough to meet with President Barack Obama during his upcoming visit to the country. The ailing Mandela reportedly "opened his eyes" and smiled when he was told about Obama's impending visit.

South African citizens have decorated the outside wall of the Pretoria hospital where Mandela currently resides with "get-well-soon" signs and messages of good will. It is a difficult time for South Africans, who still refer to their former President as Tata Mandala—Father Mandela.