Nelson Mandela, the former South African president, has suffered a recurrence of the lung infection that laid him low at the end of last year. He was admitted to the hospital in the middle of the night for treatment and is, say hospital sources, still conscious.
“”I think we need to be clear that the doctors are attending to Madiba [the former president’s clan name] on a continuous basis,” said Mac Maharaj, a spokesman for the hospital. “They prefer to act on the side of caution, and the moment they felt there was a recurrence of the lung infection, they felt that it warranted immediate hospitalisation given his age and given his history.”
The 94-year-old, who spent five years as South Africa’s first black leader, between 1994 and 1999, spent almost three weeks in the hospital in December, with gallstones and a lung infection. He contracted tuberculosis during his decades of incarceration in Robben Island prison.