Mandela hospitalised for stomach ailment

Officials say 93-year-old former South African president is "satisfactory condition" after planned medical check.

    Mandela has not made a public appearance since the 2010 World Cup final in Johannesburg [EPA]

    Former South African leader Nelson Mandela, 93, is in "satisfactory condition" after he was admitted to hospital for a planned procedure, officials say.

    "President Jacob Zuma wishes to advise that former President Nelson Mandela is in a satisfactory condition in hospital and is comfortable," a statement from the South African presidency said.

    The presidency said Mandela underwent a diagnostic procedure on Saturday to investigate the causes for a long-standing abdominal complaint.

    "Madiba is fine and fully conscious and the doctors are satisfied with his condition, which they say is consistent with his age," the statement said, using Mandela's nickname. It said he was expected to be discharged from hospital either on Sunday or Monday

    The African National Congress party said Mandela's hospital stay was not an emergency and did not involve an operation.

    "We believe that he is in good hands and therefore there is no need for panic," spokesman Jackson Mthembu said..

    'In perfect health'

    Mandela spent several days at Johannesburg's Milpark hospital just over a year ago with respiratory problems.  

    Since then he has not appeared in public, and has spent his time between Johannesburg and his ancestral village of Qunu in South Africa's Eastern Cape province.

    His last major public appearance was in July 2010 at the final of the World Cup in Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium.

    Mandela's oldest granddaughter Ndileka Mandela told AFP news agency that she was not worried.

    "I don't see it as a big thing. He's in perfect health. When I saw him on Wednesday, he was in good spirits, in perfect health, and, you know, the epitome of health really for a man of his age," she said.

    "I'm not worried. I mean granddad rebounded from his illness last year. I don't see any reason why this should be any different."

    Mandela became South Africa's first black leader in 1994 after being jailed for 27 years by the apartheid regime for fighting for equal rights for all South Africans.

    He served a one five-year term and quit in 1999, paving the way for his then deputy Thabo Mbeki to take over.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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