Mandela, 94, has been in hospital since June 8 for a recurring lung infection and is listed as in critical condition.
“All of us in the country must accept that Madiba is now old. As he ages, his health will trouble him,” President Jacob Zuma told a press conference on Sunday.
“The doctors are doing everything possible to ensure his well-being and comfort,” Zuma told the nation on Monday.
Madiba, as Mandela is affectionately known, is revered in South Africa as the architect of the 1994 transition to multi-racial democracy after three centuries of white domination and almost three decades of imprisonment for his fight against oppression in his country.
He has become increasingly frail over the years and has not appeared in public since South Africa hosted the World Cup in 2010.
And as the end draws near, his family is cherishing the moments they have with him.
“I believe he is at peace,” said Makaziwe Mandela, who was born in 1953 to Mandela’s first wife, Evelyn.
“All we do every day is take one day at a time and pray to the good Lord,”
“All I pray for as a daughter is that the transition is smooth. … He is at peace with himself. He has given so much to the world.”