Madiba in hospital, but...

2013-03-10 10:00

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Former President Nelson Mandela is back in hospital.

Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj confirmed last night Madiba was admitted to hospital yesterday “for a scheduled medical check-up” at a Pretoria hospital.

Maharaj said: “Doctors are conducting tests and have thus far indicated that there is no reason for any alarm.”

He said the check-up was to manage existing conditions that aren’t unusual for someone at his age (94).

A source close to the process said Mandela was being tested and treated for respiratory problems.

His grandson, Mandla Mandela, confirmed that Mandela had gone for “a normal check-up”. Mandla was in Mvezo and didn’t know any more than that.

A source close to Mandela’s inner circle said the family was “gathered together” and that Mandla was planning to join them today, but he didn’t want to say if he was planning to go to Gauteng or not.

In December, the presidency revealed that Mandela was being treated for a lung infection and had undergone surgery to remove gallstones.

He stayed in hospital for 18 days and was discharged to his Houghton home, which has been converted into a high-care facility so that he can get the appropriate care.

He had been staying there ever since, and hasn’t returned to his Qunu home, where he was staying until his hospital admission in December.

The source said Mandela was admitted to hospital yesterday afternoon and all communication around his condition was being managed by a “committee” of relatives, doctors and security staff. No information would be released without the full committee’s approval.

Maharaj appealed for Mandela’s privacy to be respected.

Last night, four vehicles with military registration numbers were parked outside his Houghton home, but, other than that, things were quiet.

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