Nelson Mandela Health: Zuma Reassures South Africa

Nelson Mandela Health: Zuma Reassures South Africa

President Jacob Zuma has sought to reassure

South Africans as Nelson Mandela is being treated for the recurrence of a lung


Nelson Mandela Health: Zuma Reassures South Africa

said that people "must not panic" and that the former president was

doing "very well" so far and the people should "slow down the


Mr. Zuma

was admitted to hospital before midnight on Wednesday.

The 94-year-old

days in hospital in December undergoing treatment for a lung infection and


He spent 18

statement released earlier, Mr. Zuma's office said the ex-leader was

"responding positively" to treatment.

In a

presidency has not identified the hospital where Mr. Mandela is being treated.


you should bear in mind Madiba is no longer that young and if he goes for

check-ups every now and again, I don't think people must be alarmed about it. I

would like to really say the country must not panic," Mr. Zuma said.

"Of course I have been saying to people,

if people should prepare for the inevitable, Mr. Zuma said: "In Zulu, when someone passes away who

is very old, people say he or she has gone home. I think those are some of the

things we should be thinking about."

When asked

stressed that Mr Mandela had been able to handle the situation "very

well" so far.

But he

is regarded by many South Africans as the father of the nation for leading the

struggle against apartheid. He served as South Africa's first black president

from 1994 to 1999.

Mr. Mandela

fourth time, Mr. Mandela has been admitted to hospital in just over two years.

It is the

contracted tuberculosis in the 1980s while detained on the windswept Robben

Island where he served 18 of the 27 years he was imprisoned for sabotage.

He first

Mandela's health has been a cause of concern for some time


are said to have been damaged when he worked in a prison quarry.

His lungs

long imprisonment, Mr. Mandela forgave his former enemies and as president

urged South Africans of all races to work together and seek reconciliation.

Despite his

was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1993 he

treatment Mr. Mandela received in December 2012 was his longest spell in

hospital since leaving prison in 1990.


this month he spent a night in hospital following a check-up.


retired from public life in 2004 and has been rarely seen in public since.

Mr. Mandela

home is in Qunu, a small rural village in Eastern Cape province, where he says

he spent the happiest days of his childhood.

His main

doctors said in December he should remain at his home in the Johannesburg

neighbourhood of Houghton to be close to medical facilities.



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