Former South African President Nelson Mandela was in a "permanent vegetative state" and his family considered switching off his life support machine, according to a court document obtained by AFP.
The legal document, dated June 26, was related to a family dispute over reburying the remains of three of the anti-apartheid leader's children, the news agency said.
The document reportedly read:
The next day, June 27, South African President Jacob Zuma said Mandela's condition had "improved during the night".
Mandela remains "critical but stable" in hospital, the presidency said today.