South Africa: Nelson Mandela admitted to hospital in ‘serious condition’
- Credit: AP
Nelson Mandela has been taken to a hospital because of a lung infection, according to the office of South Africa’s president.
A statement from President Jacob Zuma’s office said Mandela had a recurrence of the illness in the last few days, and that he was transferred to a Pretoria hospital after his condition deteriorated at about 1:30 am today.
The statement said Mandela, who is 94 years old, is in “serious but stable” condition and is receiving expert medical care.
The anti-apartheid leader became president in South Africa’s all-race elections in 1994. His health has been failing in recent years.
“During the past few days, former President Nelson Mandela has had a recurrence of lung infection,” said the statement. “This morning at about 1.30a.m., his condition deteriorated and he was transferred to a Pretoria hospital.”
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It said Mandela was receiving expert medical care and “doctors are doing everything possible to make him better and comfortable”.
Mr Zuma wished Mandela a quick recovery on behalf of the government and the nation and requested that the media and the public respect the privacy of the former leader and his family, the statement said.
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Mandela’s forgiving spirit and belief in racial reconciliation helped hold South Africa together at a time of extreme tension in the run up to elections in 1994. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who was imprisoned for 27 years by the racist white regime, became the first democratically elected president of South Africa in that year.
Prime Minister David Cameron gave his support to Mr Mandela on Twitter.
He wrote: “My thoughts are with Nelson Mandela, who is in hospital in South Africa.”