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Mandela undergoes hospital tests

Former South African President Nelson Mandela is spending a second day in hospital for what his office described as routine tests.

Mr Mandela, 92, undergoes regular hospital check-ups, but his latest visit starting on Wednesday stretched into an unusually long stay.

President Jacob Zuma, attending the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, is being updated on developments by the defence minister, whose department is responsible for current and former presidents' health care, said Mr Zuma's office.

The presidency cautioned reporters not to put pressure on Mr Mandela's doctors and to give "a national hero" dignity and respect.

Children at a school next door to Milpark Hospital made cards and posters wishing Mr Mandela well and put them up on the school grounds.

Head teacher Nicky Humphries said students and teachers prayed for South Africa's most famous citizen before classes started.

Mr Zuma's office said Mandela "is comfortable and is well looked after by a good team of medical specialists."

Mr Mandela's office has released only a brief statement, saying the hospital visit was for routine tests and that Mr Mandela is in "no danger and is in good spirits."

Mr Mandela was jailed for 27 years for his fight against apartheid. He became South Africa's first black president in 1994 and stepped down after serving one term in 1999. He largely retired from public life in 2004.

The public has seen only glimpses of him recently, such as in November, when his office released photos of a private meeting between Mandela and members of the US and South African soccer teams. He also appeared at the closing ceremony of the World Cup in July, waving to the crowd as he was driven in a small golf cart alongside his wife, Graca Machel.


From Belfast Telegraph