Mandela’s Condition ‘Serious, But Stable,’ Zuma Says

Former South African President Nelson Mandela remains in “serious, but stable” condition as he’s treated for a recurring lung infection in a Pretoria hospital, President Jacob Zuma’s office said.

Zuma was briefed late yesterday by the medical team treating Mandela, 94, who was hospitalized June 8 for the fourth time since December, his office said in an e-mailed statement today.

“I was very confident that they know what they are doing and they are doing a very good job,” Zuma said in comments televised by Sky News. “Whilst its serious, he’s stabilized and we are all praying for him really to recuperate quickly. We need him to be with us.”

Mandela was treated in April for pneumonia and had fluid drained from around his lungs. He also had gallstones removed this year.

He served for five years as South Africa’s first black president after his African National Congress party won all-race elections in 1994. He spent 27 years in prison, most of them on Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, where he contracted tuberculosis. Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

“President Jacob Zuma reiterates his call for South Africa to pray for Madiba and the family during this time,” the Presidency said yesterday.

Zuma, who is in Cape Town, has no plans to visit Mandela in the hospital today, his office said. The South African Press Association reported that Zuma may visit Mandela in the hospital today, without citing where it got the information.

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