News / Africa

    Mandela 'Comfortable' After Night in Hospital

    A television crew films outside a military hospital where former South African president Nelson Mandela is hospitalized in Pretoria, December 9, 2012.
    A television crew films outside a military hospital where former South African president Nelson Mandela is hospitalized in Pretoria, December 9, 2012.
    Anita Powell
    Government officials in South Africa say former president Nelson Mandela remains in a Pretoria hospital after being admitted Saturday for routine tests.  This overnight stay has heightened fears about the aging icon’s health.

    A statement by South African President Jacob Zuma says he visited Mandela in the hospital Sunday and found him "comfortable, and in good care."

    The anti-apartheid icon was admitted to the Pretoria military hospital on Saturday, his second hospitalization this year.

    Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said he accompanied Zuma on the visit to Pretoria, just north of Johannesburg, and found  Mandela in good spirits.  Like many South Africans, Maharaj referred to Mandela by his clan name, Madiba.

    Maharaj spoke to VOA shortly after his arrival in the southeastern coastal city of Durban.

    "We are assuring the public that Madiba is doing well, he is looking very rested.  I accompanied President Zuma, the two talked, they greeted each other, they were warm, and Madiba is looking very rested," he said.

    Maharaj refused to give any details on Mandela’s condition, citing patient confidentiality.  He refused to say whether Mandela might spend more time in the hospital.

    The 94-year-old has led an extraordinarily stressful life, and by his own account has suffered from chronic health problems . He spent 27 years in prison for fighting racist white rule, during which he described being ill-fed, overworked and mistreated. 

    He then entered the crucible of politics, becoming South Africa’s first black president in the nation’s first multi-racial elections in 1994.  He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with former South African president F.W. De Klerk in 1993 for engineering an end to apartheid.

    He was last admitted to a hospital in February.  In January 2011, he was hospitalized for several days after contracting a respiratory infection.

    The military has largely taken over responsibility for the former president's medical treatment.  Maharaj said the military hospital affords Mandela the privacy he needs.

    "We want his treatment to be unimpeded, to be done under the least stressful conditions, and for the government to have a free hand to attend to him.  I am sure everybody wishes that for him," he said.

    The former president retired from public life in 2004 and has recently made few public appearances.  He has moved back to his small home village of Qunu, in the Eastern Cape.

    Mandela status as the father of modern South Africa is evident in the reaction from ordinary South Africans.  On Sunday, congregants gathered at the famous Regina Mundi church in Soweto to pray for his recovery.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Daniel
    December 10, 2012 6:06 AM
    my pray goes to him for fast recovery

    by: Lara
    December 09, 2012 11:15 AM
    Praying for his speedy recovery, too.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora