UK & World News

  • 9 December 2012, 11:44

Nelson Mandela: Ex-SA President In Hospital

Former South African President Nelson Mandela has been admitted to hospital for tests.

The country's government said Mr Mandela, 94, had been taken to hospital in Pretoria for routine checks, adding that there was no cause for alarm.

The anti-apartheid icon is known to be in frail health and has not made public appearances for some years.

He was last taken to hospital in February after suffering from persistent abdominal pain. He was released the following day after a keyhole examination showed there was nothing seriously wrong with him.

A statement from President Jacob Zuma's office about his re-admittance to hospital in South Africa's administrative capital gave no details of the condition of the former leader.

"Mandela will receive medical attention from time to time which is consistent with his age," said Mr Zuma's office.

"President Zuma assures all that Madiba is doing well and there is no cause for alarm," it added, referring to Mr Mandela by his clan name.

Mr Mandela spent 27 years in prison for his fight against white minority rule under apartheid, becoming the country's first black president in 1994 at the end of white minority rule.

He turned 94 in July and has not appeared in public since South Africa's Football World Cup Final in 2010 because of his frail health.

However, in the last few months he has continued to receive high-profile visitors, including former US President Bill Clinton and Mr Clinton's wife Hillary, the US Secretary of State.

Since retiring from public life, Mr Mandela has spent most of his time in his ancestral home in Qunu, a village in the impoverished Eastern Cape province.

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