No cause for concern, presidential spokesperson says as anti-apartheid icon is admitted to hospital for “medical tests”.
Nelson Mandela, the former South African president, has been admitted to hospital for medical tests, although the government has said there is no cause for alarm.
A statement on Saturday from President Jacob Zuma’s office confirmed that the 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader, affectionately known as “Tata” by his supporters, was admitted to to a Pretoria hospital for “medical attention” but it gave no details of Mandela’s condition.
“President Zuma assures all that Madiba is doing well and there is no cause for alarm,” it said, referring to Mandela by his clan name.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Mac Maharaj, South African presidential spokesperson, said: “Mandela will receive medical attention from time to time which is consistent with his age.”
Mandela, who became South Africa’s first black president after the country’s first all-race elections in 1994, was admitted to hospital in February because of abdominal pain, but released the following day after a keyhole examination showed there was nothing seriously wrong with him.
He has since spent most of his time in his ancestral home in Qunu, a village in the impoverished Eastern Cape province.
His frail health prevents him from making any public appearances in South Africa, although in the last few months he has continued to receive prominent visitors, including former US President Bill Clinton.