(CBS News) The South African presidency denied a report Thursday that former South Africa President Nelson Mandela was in a “permanent vegetative state.”

Government officials were responding to a report by Agence France-Press, which had obtained court documents that detailed the condition of the anti-apartheid leader.

“We confirm our earlier statement released this afternoon after President Jacob Zuma visited Madiba in hospital that Madiba remains in a critical, but stable condition,” presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said, referring to Mandela by his tribal name. “The doctors deny that the former President is in a vegetative state.”

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