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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora