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Mandela back in hospital in 'serious but stable' condition

It marks the second hospitalisation in as many months for the frail anti-apartheid hero, who will turn 95 in July.

Image: Johnny Green/PA Wire

NELSON MANDELA WAS back in hospital today in a “serious but stable” condition suffering from a recurrent lung infection, the latest health scare for South Africa’s frail anti-apartheid icon.

Mandela, who turns 95 next month, was admitted to hospital in the capital Pretoria in the early hours of Saturday, his fourth hospital stay in seven months .

“During the past few days former president Nelson Mandela has had a recurrence of lung infection,” President Jacob Zuma’s office said in a statement.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner, who has long had problems with his lungs, had been released from hospital in April following a 10-day stay for treatment for pneumonia.

Pneumonia

In December 2012, he was hospitalised for 18 days for a lung infection and for gallstones surgery, his longest stay since he walked free from 27 years in jail in 1990. In March he was admitted for a day for a scheduled check-up.

Zuma’s office said earlier that “the former president is receiving expert medical care and doctors are doing everything possible to make him better and comfortable.”

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“President Jacob Zuma, on behalf of government and the nation, wishes Madiba a speedy recovery and requests the media and the public to respect the privacy of Madiba and his family,” it added, using Mandela’s clan name.

Beloved as South Africa’s first black democratically elected president, Mandela is still a powerful symbol of unity for the once-bitterly divided nation almost 20 years after first taking power.

- © AFP, 2013

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