Nelson Mandela*Despite overcoming health problems in the past, new details reveal that Nelson Mandela’s death was imminent.

The Los Angeles Times cites South African media sources, who report that as Mandela was close to death last week, doctors informed his wife, Graca Machel, that he couldn’t be saved this time.

Machal then told members of the Mandela family that the former South African president sinking fast. City Press newspaper revealed that current South African president Jacob Zuma was told Tuesday that Mandela’s passing was imminent.

During Mandela’s final hours, he was visited by family members and friends, who were arrived in groups of two or three and left sobbing.

Per City Press, Mandela died after contracting a new bout of serious pneumonia, when fluid rapidly accumulated in his lungs, which had been damaged by recurrent infections. As Mandela’s blood pressure sank dangerously low, it became difficult to siphon off the fluid.

At the end, Mandela was breathing without life support. While the Sunday Times newspaper stated that the civil rights icon’s last breath “was his own,” other reports said he remained on breathing support, and was receiving dialysis. The Mandela family revealed that he was unable to speak because of tubes inserted in his throat in June.

Mandela was admitted to the hospital in June and remained critically ill until his death Thursday night. The famed activist was sent home in September and provided with 24-hour intensive care in his bedroom.

Despite this, blocked tubes and infections continued to plague Mandela, according to a City Press report, which said the leader had to have several surgical interventions in recent months. By the end, Mandela developed a resistance to antibiotics.

Among those with Mandela when he died were Machel, who was constantly present during his illness, his former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, his daughter Makaziwe and his grandson Mandla Mandela, who was selected by Nelson Mandela to be chief of the clan. Mandela’s two daughters, Zenani and Zindzi, were in London for the royal premier of their father’s biopic “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom,”

Although Mandela’s illness saw a bitter power struggle erupt between Makaziwe and Mandla, a family spokesman said Saturday that the family would uphold and be guided by Mandela’s values.