8 Dec 2012

Nelson Mandela’s hospitalisation ‘no cause for alarm’

South Africa’s former leader Nelson Mandela is admitted to a military hospital for tests although the nation’s president told the public there is “no cause for alarm” over the 94-year-old’s health.

President Jacob Zuma’s spokesman said Mr Mandela was doing well and receiving medical care consistent for his age. There were no other details.

Mr Mandela spent 27 years in prison for fighting racist white rule and became South Africa’s first black president in 1994. He served one five-year term and retired from public life to live in his village of Qunu. His last public appearance was when his country hosted the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament.

“We wish Madiba all the best,” President Zuma said in a statement, using Mandela’s clan name.

“The medical team is assured of our support as they look after and ensure the comfort of our beloved founding president of a free and democratic South Africa,” he said.

‘Madiba’ treated

In February, Mr Mandela spent a night in a hospital for a minor diagnostic surgery to determine the cause of an abdominal complaint. He was hospitalised in January 2011 with a respiratory infection.

Mr Zuma’s statement offered no details about who would provide medical attention for Mandela, but the nation’s military largely has taken over caring for the aging leader.

Mac Maharaj, a presidential spokesman, declined to say whether Mr Mandela had been flown by the military to Pretoria. He also declined to say what the tests were for.

“It’s quite normal at his age to be going through those tests,” Mr Maharaj told The Associated Press.