No Update on Mandela’s Health as He Remains Hospitalized

There’s no update on the health of former South African President Nelson Mandela as he prepares to spend Christmas in a Pretoria hospital, according to the government.

Doctors treating Mandela for a recurring lung infection and gallstones haven’t provided an update on his condition, Mac Maharaj, spokesman for President Jacob Zuma, said in a phone interview today.

Mandela, 94, has been hospitalized since Dec. 8, with the government’s last update on his health on Dec. 22 indicating he was responding to treatment. Mandela’s condition was “serious” when he was admitted to the hospital and he is receiving the “best care possible,” Zuma said on Dec. 20.

Mandela became South Africa’s first black president after the African National Congress won all-race elections in 1994 that ended apartheid. He spent 27 years in prison before that for his opposition to white-minority rule. This is the second time he has been hospitalized this year after undergoing abdominal surgery in February.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jaco Visser in Johannesburg at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at

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