Mandela faces more tests in hospital after "good night's rest"

Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:43pm EST
 
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By John Mkhize

PRETORIA (Reuters) - Nelson Mandela, the 94-year-old former South African president and revered anti-apartheid leader, is to undergo more tests in hospital on Monday after having a good rest on his second night in the facility, the government said.

A statement from the office of President Jacob Zuma, who visited the Nobel Peace laureate on Sunday, gave no details other than to say, "President Mandela had a good night's rest" and was "in good hands". It also thanked members of the public for their messages of support.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told reporters after paying Mandela a visit in Pretoria's "1 Military" hospital that he was doing "very, very well". The military is responsible for the health of sitting and former South African presidents.

Mandela, South Africa's first black president and a global symbol of resistance to racism and injustice, spent 27 years in apartheid prisons, including 18 years on the windswept Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town.

He was released in 1990 and went on to be elected president in the historic all-race elections in 1994 that ended white-minority rule in Africa's most important economy.

He used his unparalleled prestige to push for reconciliation between whites and blacks, setting up a commission to probe crimes committed by both sides in the anti-apartheid struggle.

Mandela's African National Congress has continued to govern since his retirement from politics in 1999, but has been criticized for perceived corruption and slowness in addressing apartheid-era inequalities in housing, education and healthcare.

When Mandela was admitted on Saturday, officials stressed there was no cause for concern although domestic media reports suggested senior members of the government and people close to him had been caught unawares.   Continued...

 
Former South African president Nelson Mandela looks on as he celebrates his birthday at his house in Qunu, Eastern Cape July 18, 2012. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko