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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid