Mandela being treated for lung illness

Ailing former South Africa president Nelson Mandela.
Ailing former South Africa president Nelson Mandela.

CAPE TOWN — Former South African President Nelson Mandela has been readmitted to hospital with the recurrence of a lung infection.

A statement from the South African presidency said Mandela, 94, had been admitted just before midnight.

Mandela spent 18 days in hospital in December undergoing treatment for a lung infection and gallstones.

He is widely regarded as the father of the nation for leading the struggle against apartheid.

Mandela served as South Africa’s first black president from 1994 to 1999. However, his health has caused concern for some time.

A presidential spokesman told the BBC that Mandela was conscious and was receiving the best possible medical treatment.

“I think we need to be clear that the doctors are attending to Madiba [MrMandela] on a continuous basis,” spokesman Mac Maharaj said.

“They prefer to act on the side of caution, and the moment they felt there was a recurrence of the lung infection, they felt that it warranted immediate hospitalisation given his age and given his history.”

However, sources said the abrupt nature of Mandela’s late-night admission was likely to raise concerns.

The presidency has not identified the hospital where he is being treated.

The government statement said President Jacob Zuma wished Mandela a speedy recovery. (BBC)

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