Former South African President Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela is said to be in a stable, but critical condition. Reuters

Nelson Mandela's family have gathered around the bedside of the icon, who remains critically ill.

According to News 24, vehicles are reportedly lining the street outside the 95-year-old's home in Johannesburg, where he has been receiving around the clock home-based intensive care, and is said to be on a life support machine.

A court appearance by Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla has also been delayed, to allow the former South African President's family members to visit him.

Mandla Mandela was scheduled to appear in court on gun-related charges in connection with a road incident in October.

Luxolo Tyali, a spokesperson for South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority confirmed the news to AFP saying: "He's not appearing tomorrow [Friday]. His lawyers have made arrangements that he presents himself to court on the 12th of December."

Earlier this week, Mandela's daughter Makaziwe said her father was still fighting from his "deathbed" and was still "very strong" and "very courageous". "Even when there are moments when you can see he's struggling, but the fighting spirit is still there with him," she added.

Mac Maharaj, spokesperson for the presidency, said his condition of stable but critical, was unchanged. "My last update stands," he said.

The former South African President had been in hospital for three months earlier this year, where he was undergoing treatment for a lung infection. He returned to his family home in Septmeber.

The news comes on the eve of the UK premiere of the biographical film Nelson Mandela: The Long Walk To Freedom.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate Middleton will be attending the Royal film premiere in Leicester Square tonight (5 December) where they will personally meet Mandela's daughter Zindzi Mandela.