S.Africa's Nelson Mandela admitted to hospital
S Africa: Nelson Mandela underwent hospital tests Saturday but
officials and a grand-daughter reassured an anxious public that the
93-year-old anti-apartheid icon was not in danger and could leave within
The hospital stay was for a planned "diagnostic procedure" to
investigatean abdominal complaint, President Jacob Zuma said, without
specifying the exact ailment. "Madiba is fine and fully conscious and
the doctors are satisfied with his condition, which they say is
consistent with his age," said Zuma, using Mandela's nickname.
"He is receiving good medical care and is expected to be discharged
from hospital either tomorrow or Monday." The Nobel Peace Prize laureate
is beloved by the nation for leading the country from the dark days of
white-minority rule to democracy and commands huge respect as an
international hero. Officials have moved to stem panic, as any health
scare sparks national fears with the statesman growing increasingly
frail outside the public spotlight. His last major public appearance was
in July 2010. "He was in good health before admission in hospital but
doctors felt the complaint needed a thorough investigation. He underwent
a diagnostic procedure as part of his ongoing medical management," Zuma
"We are happy that he is not in any danger and thank the doctors for
their hard work and professionalism." Family and officials have refused
to say where he is being treated with appeals for his privacy.
Journalists trying to track the statesman's location have been barred
entry to hospitals, with one photographer forced to delete pictures of a
Pretoria military hospital.
"We are satisfied that his condition is not life-threatening and that
the admission was long arranged and therefore it's not an emergency
admission," said the ruling African National Congress which Mandela led
to power 18 years ago.
"We believe that he is in good hands and therefore there is no need
for panic." Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj would not comment on
press reports that Mandela had undergone surgery for a hernia.
"I really do not want to respond to rumours, my job is to tell the
facts as they are," he told AFP, pointing to the report from
ANC spokesman Keith Khoza earlier told the eNews private television
channel that the admission was "a check-up, there's no operation
Mandela's oldest granddaughter Ndileka Mandela told AFP she was not