The former wife of Nelson Mandela has spoken of the pain of seeing her ex-husband fighting for his life in hospital.
Her comments to Sky News come two months to the day since the South African liberation hero was first rushed to hospital with a recurring lung infection.
He remains critical but stable at Medi-Clinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria, with the South African presidency insisting he has shown some signs of improvement.
His former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela spoke of the strain of his long illness on the whole family and how hurtful continued reports of his demise have been.
"It's so cruel," she said in an interview with Sky News at her Soweto home.
"All around us we see people erecting scaffolding, preparing for a funeral. He has been pre-deceased.
"Do people not think of our emotions?"
Her eyes filled with tears as she spoke of the anguish of seeing the country's anti-apartheid leader lying vulnerable in his hospital bed.
"For those of us who know him, who know his strength, it is very hard," she said.
But she said despite being critically ill, his eyes still "lit up" when his children entered the room to see him.
"That is how he communicates with them," she said.
She again denied the reports that her former husband was in a permanent vegetative state.
"Why would we conceal that?" she said.
And she heaped praise on the medical team working round the clock to help her former husband.
A team of 22 specialists is tending to his needs and was working hard to ensure he is "comfortable", she said.
He is now breathing normally, Mrs Madikizela-Mandela said.
She brushed aside reports of rifts within her family, mentioning it only in passing - "every family has their difficulties", she said.
She said the family knew "the inevitable" would eventually happen and he "could not last forever" but she insisted only God could decide when that would be.