Mandela responding to lung infection treatment

Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:51am EST
 

By Tshepo Tshabalala

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Former South African President Nelson Mandela, who is 94 and has been in hospital since Saturday for tests, has suffered a recurrence of a lung infection but is responding to treatment, the government said on Tuesday.

The revered anti-apartheid leader and Nobel Peace laureate is spending his fourth day in hospital in the capital, Pretoria.

Known affectionately by his clan name "Madiba", Mandela remains a hero to many of South Africa's 52 million people and two brief stretches in hospital in the past two years made front page news.

"Doctors have concluded the tests and these have revealed a recurrence of a previous lung infection, for which Madiba is receiving appropriate treatment and he is responding to the treatment," the government said in a statement.

Mandela was admitted to the Pretoria military hospital on Saturday after being flown from his home village of Qunu in a remote part of the Eastern Cape province.

Until now, authorities had given few details about the reason for his latest visit to hospital.

In an interview broadcast on South Africa's eNCA television channel, Mandela's Mozambican-born wife Graca said the former president's "sparkle" was fading.

When he was admitted to hospital 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