Former president Nelson Mandela’s recovery from a respiratory infection continued today, with doctors saying he had a restful and peaceful night, the presidency said.
“President Mandela is said to be responding to medication and treatment. The close monitoring and 24-hour care from the team of specialists continues,” read a statement from Acting President Kgalema Motlanthe.
Mandela, who is 92, was admitted to Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg last Wednesday for treatment.
An information vacuum, reportedly due to a turf war between the foundation which promotes his life’s work and the government, was blamed for speculation that his condition was worse than thought.
Motlanthe broke the silence at a press conference on Friday, as social network feeds ran comments on whether Mandela was dead or alive.
At the same time Mandela was taken to his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, to recuperate.
Motlanthe said doctors were worried about the number of people visiting and appealed for space and privacy.
“Doctors must also be allowed to do their work without any undue pressure and in an atmosphere that allows them to carry on with their duties without any disturbance.”
Visitors are carefully screened by Mandela’s security detail and these have been reduced to close family and friends and staff caring for him under the leadership of the military, which is responsible for the well-being of former presidents.
Motlanthe promised the presidency would continue providing information on developments.
The presidency said the South African National Defence Force, which reports to the president regularly on the matter, would deal with enquiries.
Motlanthe thanked everyone for their continued support to Madiba and added: “...[we] want to assure them that we are doing all we can to ensure that he recovers fully.
“We appreciate all the prayers and love shown to Madiba.”