De Klerk undergoing 'routine procedure'

2013-07-02 14:54
FW de Klerk (Foto24)

FW de Klerk (Foto24)

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Johannesburg - Former president FW de Klerk was hospitalised Tuesday to receive a pacemaker, as his fellow Nobel peace laureate Nelson Mandela lies critically ill.

De Klerk cut short a visit to Europe over the weekend because of Mandela's ailing health, only to fall ill himself. The 77-year-old felt dizzy after his return from Europe on Sunday and saw his physician.

"The specialist recommended immediate installation of a pacemaker," his spokesperson Dave Steward told AFP.

"It's a routine procedure. He will spend the night in hospital."

De Klerk will receive the device, which helps the heart beat at a normal rate, in a Cape Town hospital.

Mandela prayer meeting

Meanwhile, 94-year-old Mandela is spending a 25th day of treatment in a Pretoria health facility for a recurring lung infection.

He is in a critical but stable condition, the presidency said on Monday evening.

At a prayer meeting in downtown Johannesburg on Tuesday, organised by the ruling African National Congress, hundreds of supporters gathered to wish Mandela well.

"Growing old is not a curse - it's a blessing," ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe told the crowd outside the organisation's headquarters, which was adorned with a huge poster of Mandela.

"We are not tired of having our old icon. We still want him to live for a long time," Mantashe told the cheering crowd.

ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete added: "We hope that you come out of that hospital. We still want to learn from your example."

- Health24: Pacemakers.

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  fw de klerk  |  cape town

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