South Africa’s Former President Mandela Remains Hospitalized

Former South African President Nelson Mandela
Former South African President Nelson Mandela smiles onstage during the 46664 Concert In Celebration Of Nelson Mandela's Life in London's Hyde Park on June 27, 2008. Photographer: Gareth Davies/Getty Images

Nelson Mandela, the former South African president, remained in a hospital in Pretoria after being admitted yesterday for undisclosed “medical attention,” the Presidency said.

President Jacob Zuma visited Mandela in the hospital early today, said Mac Maharaj, spokesman for Zuma. “He found him comfortable, and in good care,” Maharaj said in an e-mailed statement. “We continue to appeal to the media and the public to respect the privacy of Madiba and his family.” Madiba is Mandela’s clan name.

Mandela, who turned 94 in July, was undergoing tests for an undisclosed condition “consistent with his age” and was doing well, Zuma’s office said in a statement yesterday. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate 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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