President Jacob Zuma has sought to reassure South Africans as Nelson Mandela is being treated for the recurrence of a lung infection.
South Africans as Nelson Mandela is being treated for the recurrence of a lung
said that people "must not panic" and that the former president was
doing "very well" so far and the people should "slow down the
was admitted to hospital before midnight on Wednesday.
days in hospital in December undergoing treatment for a lung infection and
He spent 18
statement released earlier, Mr. Zuma's office said the ex-leader was
"responding positively" to treatment.
presidency has not identified the hospital where Mr. Mandela is being treated.
you should bear in mind Madiba is no longer that young and if he goes for
check-ups every now and again, I don't think people must be alarmed about it. I
would like to really say the country must not panic," Mr. Zuma said.
"Of course I have been saying to people,
if people should prepare for the inevitable, Mr. Zuma said: "In Zulu, when someone passes away who
is very old, people say he or she has gone home. I think those are some of the
things we should be thinking about."
stressed that Mr Mandela had been able to handle the situation "very
well" so far.
is regarded by many South Africans as the father of the nation for leading the
struggle against apartheid. He served as South Africa's first black president
from 1994 to 1999.
fourth time, Mr. Mandela has been admitted to hospital in just over two years.
It is the
contracted tuberculosis in the 1980s while detained on the windswept Robben
Island where he served 18 of the 27 years he was imprisoned for sabotage.
Mandela's health has been a cause of concern for some time
are said to have been damaged when he worked in a prison quarry.
long imprisonment, Mr. Mandela forgave his former enemies and as president
urged South Africans of all races to work together and seek reconciliation.
was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1993 he
treatment Mr. Mandela received in December 2012 was his longest spell in
hospital since leaving prison in 1990.
this month he spent a night in hospital following a check-up.
retired from public life in 2004 and has been rarely seen in public since.
home is in Qunu, a small rural village in Eastern Cape province, where he says
he spent the happiest days of his childhood.
doctors said in December he should remain at his home in the Johannesburg
neighbourhood of Houghton to be close to medical facilities.