Madiba in hospital, going home soon

2012-02-25 19:45

Granddaughter says she is not worried because Mandela was in perfect health earlier in the week

Former president Nelson Mandela has been admitted to 1 Military Hospital in Tshwane after complaining of abdominal pain.

Some international media reported he’d had an operation for a hernia, but the presidency said last night that he underwent a “diagnostic procedure” as part of his ongoing medical management.

“We are happy that he is not in any danger and thank the doctors for their hard work and professionalism,” said presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj.

He said Mandela is expected to be discharged from hospital either today or tomorrow.

He asked that the privacy of Mandela and the family be respected.

Mandela’s oldest granddaughter, Ndileka Mandela, told AFP that she wasn’t worried about her grandfather, who had been “in perfect health” earlier in the week.

“I don’t see it as a big thing. He’s in perfect health. When I saw him on Wednesday he was in good spirits, in perfect health and, you know, the epitome of health really for a man of his age,” she said.

Journalists gathered in front of Mandela’s Houghton house, Johannesburg’s Milpark Hospital and 1 Military Hospital yesterday morning after news broke.

Soon after they started congregating, journalists were asked by hospital staff to move further away from the buildings.

Staff at both hospitals refused to confirm whether Mandela had been admitted.

Even some of the staff members close to Mandela said they had not been informed about his whereabouts or his condition, but communication on Mandela’s hospitalisation was considerably better than in January last year,

when he was admitted to Milpark hospital with an acute respiratory infection.

At the time neither the presidency nor the Nelson Mandela Foundation wanted to comment on his health,
and it took two days before a press conference was held to assure the nation that Mandela was well.

At the time, the presidency promised to communicate any serious matters on Mandela’s health promptly, and Maharaj was widely praised yesterday for alerting the media to Mandela’s hospitalisation.

The 93-year-old Mandela has been frail of late, but he was well enough to travel back from his house in
Qunu, Eastern Cape, to Johannesburg last month.

The media was told he needed to leave his Qunu house, which he moved to in August last year, to allow renovations to be undertaken.

Wishes for Mandela poured in yesterday from political parties, Cosatu and the ANC Women’s League.

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