“Former President Mandela will receive medical attention from time to time which is consistent with his age,” Zuma said in an e-mailed statement. “There is no cause for alarm.”
Mandela, who turned 94 in July and hasn’t appeared in public since the 2010 soccer World Cup, divides his time between Johannesburg and his ancestral home in Qunu, in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. He underwent exploratory surgery for an abdominal complaint in February and was hospitalized a year before that for an acute respiratory infection.
Mandela spent 27 years in prison on an island near Cape Town over his fight for black rights and became the country’s first black president after apartheid, the official racial segregation policy, ended in 1994. He negotiated a peaceful end to the old regime with leaders of South Africa’s white minority government and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He stepped down as president voluntarily in 1999.
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