Don't speculate on Nelson Mandela - ANC

2012-02-25 16:02
Johannesburg -The ruling party on Saturday urged the media to refrain from speculating on the health of former president Nelson Mandela, after he was admitted to hospital.

"If we look at the statement released by the presidency - it does not state that Mandela is going in for surgery. We do not want any speculation," African National Congress spokesperson Keith Khoza said.

"His [Mandela's] admittance was pre-arranged. Mandela was complaining about abdominal pain - now it is a matter that his doctors and specialists will decide on."

Khoza was commenting after the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that Mandela was "stable" after undergoing surgery.

The BBC quoted unnamed "officials" who said he had spent the night at hospital.

The broadcaster said it "understood" that he had undergone overnight surgery for a hernia.

Update

Earlier on Saturday, presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said he was still waiting for an update on Mandela's health.

"We want to give the specialists time to attend to him first and then they will provide us with a full report that will be presented to President Jacob Zuma," said Maharaj.

"Before he was admitted this morning [Saturday] he was doing well. We have an obligation to the public to keep them informed on Mandela's health and will do so - when we have news.

"We want to handle the matter with due regard to his privacy. We will give you updates as soon as we have any," he said.

Both the Presidency and the ANC wished him a speedy recovery.

'Frail'

In January 2011, following false postings on Twitter that Mandela had died, fellow Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu described the former president as "frail".

Days later, on January 26, Mandela was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for what a Nelson Mandela Foundation spokesperson described as "routine tests".

It later emerged that Mandela, 93, had suffered from a respiratory infection.

Mandela moved to his home town of Qunu in the Eastern Cape a few days before his 93rd birthday in July last year.

The Presidency announced at the end of January this year that he would be returning back to his Johannesburg home in Houghton because "maintenance has to be undertaken at his Qunu home in the Eastern Cape", according to Maharaj.

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  mac maharaj  |  desmond tutu  |  keith khoza  |  jacob zuma  |  johannesburg
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