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Nelson Mandela spends fifth day in hospital with family

Published 01/04/2013

Former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in hospital for the recurrence of a lung infection
Former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in hospital for the recurrence of a lung infection
Nelson Mandela
Former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela chats with Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown during a meeting at his hotel in central London.
This file picture taken on July 12, 2008 shows former South African President Nelson Mandela sitting at the Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture in Soweto, Johannesburg.
South African President Nelson Mandela (R) talks with Prince Charles (L) in Brixton, south London, on the last day of a four-day state visit to the United Kingdom.
In this 1961 file photo, Nelson Mandela, then a 42-year-old, political activist and an able heavyweight boxer and physical culturist, is seen. The son of a minor chieftain, Mandela took his degree in Law at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.
Nelson Mandela, 94, is responding to treatment for a lung infection
The face of Nelson Mandela will feature on bank notes in South Africa
Springbok captain Francois Pienaar (R) receives the Rugby World Cup from South african President Nelson Mandela at Ellis Park in Johannesburg 24 June 1995.
Former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela (L), sits with The French Secretary of State for Human Rights, Rama Yade, at a 90th birthday celebration for Mandela held at the French Jules Verne High School on July 9, 2008 in Johannesburg.
In this July 4, 1993 photo, President Bill Clinton, left, and Nelson Mandela listen during Fourth of July ceremonies in Philadelphia during which Clinton presented the Philadelphia Liberty Medal to the African National Congress president and South African President F.W. de Klerk.
Former South African President Nelson Mandela is being treated in hospital for the recurrence of a lung infection

Nelson Mandela has spent a day with family in the Johannesburg hospital where he is being treated for a fifth day for a recurring lung infection that developed into pneumonia.

The 94-year-old former president who helped free South Africa from white minority rule has had weak lungs ever since he quarried stone on Robben Island during some of his 27 years of imprisonment when he contracted tuberculosis.

A presidential spokesman said there was no significant change in Mr Mandela's condition after he had spent a restful day and was comfortable.

Last week doctors drained Mr Mandela's lung area of fluid which helped him to breathe more freely.

Children wrote loving messages on stones outside his Johannesburg home: "Get well we love you."

Mr Mandela was admitted on Wednesday night to a hospital in Pretoria, the South African capital. It is his third trip to hospital since December.

In December, Mandela spent three weeks in hospital as he was treated for a lung infection and had a procedure to remove gallstones.

A year ago, he was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for what officials initially described as tests but what turned out to be an abdominal complaint. He was discharged days later.

He had surgery for an enlarged prostate gland in 1985.

Under South Africa's white-minority apartheid regime, Mandela served 27 years in prison, where he contracted tuberculosis, before being released in 1990. He later became the nation's first democratically elected president in 1994 under the banner of the African National Congress, helping to negotiate a relatively peaceful end to apartheid despite fears of much greater bloodshed.

He served one five-year term as president before retiring.

Perceived successes during Mandela's tenure include the introduction of a constitution with robust protections for individual rights and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a panel that heard testimony about apartheid-era violations of human rights as a kind of national therapy session.

Mandela last made a public appearance on a major stage when South Africa hosted the 2010 World Cup.

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